NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Communication is a uniquely human gift from God and should be used for divine purposes, Mary Kassian, a speaker, teacher and writer, said Nov. 13 in Nashville.
“Words have tremendous potential, and the Bible gives us direction on how to harness that potential in order to bring life and health and wholeness to our relationships,” said the author of Conversation Peace: The Power of Transformed Speech, a six-week study published by LifeWay Press.
Kassian was speaking at a Women’s Enrichment Ministry Leadership Forum, Nov. 13-15, sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. For the sixth year in a row, LifeWay sponsored the forum to give church leaders a chance to share ideas, resources and what’s working in their churches.
“Speaking the right word at the right time can be a challenge,” Kassian acknowledged.
“But, God’s words can transform our words in order to bring conversation peace.”
Kassian’s study teaches that to transform the words that come from “our mouths, we need to have God transform our hearts.”
She said God’s Word is divine communication. In the Old Testament, God spoke through the prophets, and in the New Testament, he spoke through Jesus — “God became flesh, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
“The reason we communicate with words and no other creature does is because we have been made in the image of God.”
God’s word is powerful, creative and effective, she said.
“Our words, like Jesus’ words, ought to be creative and constructive, powerful and effective, life giving and clear, bringing understanding.”
Kassian said words contain power.
“They are power containers; they contain power for evil or for good. To love the word is to understand its power and use it with great care.”
She said words can protect, refresh, nourish, build, heal, warm, free or they can destroy, injure, burn and entrap.
“Our words do not return void. When we speak, it’s not empty. It accomplishes something whether you like it or not.
“There are personal consequences to what you say.”
When Moses led a complaining group of people out of Egypt, “they wrote the script for what was to come,” Kassian said.
“What we sew with words has consequences for what we reap. When you say to yourself, ‘I’m a failure, I will never succeed,’ or you complain, ‘I am so stressed out and I can’t take it anymore,’ your words have consequences.”
The heart and the mouth are inseparably connected, she said.
“They can’t function apart from each other. Our mouths show what our hearts have grabbed onto.”
Kassian said God wants communication to bring unity to the body of Christ so it can reflect “the glory of who he is.”
“That’s why it is so grievous when we injure the body with our tongues. We can rip apart churches and relationships through gossip and slanderous speech.
“Communication is for building community, not tearing it down.”
Kassian, of Canada, has also written In My Father’s House: Women Relating to God as Father, also published by LifeWay. This six-session study explores how a woman’s image of God is often based on her experiences [or lack of experiences] with her earthly father.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: DIVINE SPEECH.