In order to change the heart of our communication, author Paul Tripp teaches that we need to believe some things about God. If we believe anything other than the truth of the Bible, our hearts will be full of idols and our communication will betray what's really going on in our hearts. What we're talking about is belief in the sovereignty of God in all things.
Today's reading was his third point, God rules over the specific details of our lives. That means every circumstance we face, good and bad, God has purposefully allowed in our lives. It means that every person who rubs us the wrong way, who seems to be out to get us, who we wouldn't mind if they fell off the face of the earth, God has brought them into our lives with a purpose. As much as I'd like to believe it's accidental or I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, it's hard to argue with the reality of God's control of everything. The amazing thing is that God not only directs me specifically, He's also directing every other human being specifically at the same time. It's one of those things about God that is just so hard to fathom, yet who else but God could do that?
So why does God allow the bad circumstances and the difficult people to touch our lives? It's to refine us like gold.
Job 23:10b says, When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. (NKJV)As we go through the "fire" of trying, it brings to the surface the idols that are in our heart. We are so quick to think that a difficult person is what makes us lose our temper or causes us to be bitter, but in reality the pride and selfishness and bitterness was already in our heart. The situation just exposed it. Therefore, the war of words comes into play. What comes out of our mouths reveals what's in our hearts.
Luke 6:45b says, For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (NKJV)So as I hear my ungodly communication in the form of unkind, unthankful, bitter words, I am quickly made aware that I've got a heart problem, and it's time to get to the root. Once I see the idol that's there, I can confess it and allow the Holy Spirit to start bringing about change.
I'll end today with this quote from the book:
Maybe you have communication problems over things you think are problems, but God does not. We often focus on people and situations, while God's focus is on us. He is using the things in our lives as tools for accomplishing his work in us. (Paul David Tripp, War of Words, pg. 75)
If you're interested in purchasing the book, you can go directly to Amazon through my affiliate link in the left column. To read the previous post about this topic, this link will take you there. Who Is Sovereign?