Speak with Care: The Responsibility of Representing God's Word

Jeremiah 23:36
And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.

The words of Proverbs 18:21 indeed speak the truth; “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Our words carry way more weight than we are often ready to admit. This is especially true when people, as the false prophets in Jeremiah’s day, “put words” in God’s mouth. All too often someone will say, “The Lord said this..." or “The Lord said that…” when in fact the Lord never spoke a word of it. This is not to say that the Lord does not speak to His children, for indeed He does! The point I wish to make is simply this; be careful what you attribute to the Lord’s doings. Many have publicly declared something to be of the Lord, when in fact time proved that what was said was not of the Lord at all, for if it truly was, it would have passed the test of time!

How then do we discern that which is of the Lord, and that which is of man? Simply put, our words must pass the Scripture test. If what is declared holds up to the scrutiny of the pure Word of God, then all is well! If, on the other hand, what is being declared is anti-biblical and inconsistent with the Scriptures at best, then it is to be discarded as irrelevant. When we falsely discern a situation and attribute a “word” as coming from the Lord, and it turns out we’re wrong, we must acknowledge, confess, and repent! God is not obligated to do one single thing simply because we declared Him to be in something that He never signed up for. In such cases, even as our text says, “every man’s word shall be his burden.” Be careful what you speak, for it can either become your greatest deliverance, or your heaviest burden!

I think that one of the greatest tragedies of our day as it pertains to leadership in our churches is a common unwillingness to admit when they made a bad call or when they misjudged a situation! We must learn not to speak in the Lord’s stead, but rather speak what He actually said, from the Bible! One thing is for sure, when you give pure Bible for counsel, you will never go wrong! So, what about you? Are you misrepresenting God by putting words in His mouth, or are you speaking only the truths as found in the Word of God? Think about it!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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