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July 19, 2010 / beidson

A Hissing Inheritance: Why You Need to Abandon Your Birthright

I know you’ve heard it before in your own words, and most certainly in someone else’s words.  It is not difficult to pull out of aconversation, or to identify in a line-up of accusations and insults.  Even in our most honest and helpful words, there it is, betraying core intentions that might easily be missed if we did not listen intently.  By nature, we are deceivers.  We have been born with slithering tongues, and it is our habit to hiss our way through life.  Our serpentine ancestry has left us an inheritance of deceit, and it is one we ought to abandon.

Right now I’m looking at dozens of smiling faces (I’m at a local gym–evidently, not doing what I should be doing).  It’s hard to look at these faces and say, “They lie” but the reality is, we all do.  Not all the time.  Maybe not even most of the time.  But really, I am not even talking about the event of lying; I am speaking of our nature as liars.  We lie to ourselves.  We lie to others.  We lie to protect.  We lie to benefit.  We lie to manipulate.  We lie to get ahead.  You will agree, even if you do not lie regularly, you have lied and probably will lie again.  Why?

Our tongues are held captive by our nature, and our nature is to betray.  We may be civilized betrayers, but we are betrayers nontheless.  This is a broad, judgmental statement.  But it is true.  The Scriptures condemn our words and our tongues and call us to consider what hope we might have to redeem them and use them for the good of others and the glory of God.  I am most guilty of using my tongue to harm others–I easily find myself first in line under charges of conspiracy to confuse meaning, distort truth, and control others with my words.  But where sin abounds, so does grace.

Here is the point: your tongue stands as a witness against you, condemning you and leaving you, ironically, speechless before God.  In Adam, your tongue has been subdued by darkness–this explains your daily battle with that muscle in your mouth.  But Jesus Christ has restored our tongues–he has brought our words into the light, both to expose their guilt, as well as to deliver them from that ungodly domain of self-righteous spin.  Through the gospel, all those who know Jesus by faith are ripped from the side of Folly and bound permanently to the hand of Wisdom.  He speaks truth to us, and being given a new nature, we speak truth to one another.

There is hissing in the hearts of men.  We grumble.  We complain.  We strive with one another.  It’s on TV.  It’s in the grocery store.  And yes, it’s here in my local gym (as I hear two little brothers fighting over who gets to sit in the stroller).  But over all of this is the voice of Wisdom, calling us to abandon our birthright and to receive a new nature and a new inheritance, secured by Wisdom himself, Jesus, King of the Tongue.  Here is a birthright you can treasure without regret, yours or anyone else’s.  Here is a word you can trust.


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