The homeschool moms group I’ve discovered here has periodic book discussions. This month we’re reading “War of Words” by Paul Tripp.
It’s a good book!
Tripp highlights the simple fact that we were created by God for his purposes, which means that our words belong to him and are meant to be used in his service. As Christians, we’re to represent him and act in his interests when we speak to others. The worldly way to approach “improving our communication” is found in techniques, particular word choices, practicing a tone of voice, etc., but learning to speak as God wants us to is rooted in heart change.
Colossians 3:12-17 describes the qualities that should flow from our hearts and through our communication: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forebearance, forgiveness, love, peace, thankfulness. Tripp defines each of these and I was reading his list and mentally thinking about how I might try to get better in all of these areas, and then he said something very simple: This list is describing Jesus. We don’t need to figure out how to become these things, we need to “put on Christ.”
But what exactly does that mean? What does it look like to do that? I think it means believing the truth: Jesus has already dealt with my sin and failure at the cross, which means I now have the freedom to stand with him in his victory. He has given me the power to “crucify” my sinful passions and desires, which means they don’t get to rule my actions. I can say no to my sinful self and yes to what he wants.
I’m still blind to much of my sin, so this will be a work in progress, but Tripp says that’s one of God’s purposes for our words to each other: to humbly help each other see into areas of blindness so we can repent and become more like Christ. I need people to speak into my life and help me, and I need to be willing to love others the same way.
I’m looking forward to hearing what the other ladies got out of the book.