Overcoming the Curse of WordsReceiving and Giving the Blessing
Leslie Basham: According to Nancy Leigh DeMoss, you can speak words of life even if you never received encouragement while growing up.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: "I didn't get it, so I can't give it." Well, if you're a child of God, you have a blessing in your life that is greater than any human parent, the best of human parents, could have ever given to you.
And our giving the blessing to others is really ultimately dependent upon our receiving first, by faith, the blessing from God.
Leslie Basham: It's tax day. You're listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
Here's the way it works. First, you receive money in the form of a salary. Then you pay some of it to the government in taxes. Now, it might be a stretch but think of your word like money.
You receive words of blessings from God, and that enables you to give words of blessings to others. But, unlike paying taxes, blessing others can be a great joy. Here's Nancy.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I had a phone conversation recently with a friend whose dad had just died. And, as far as my friend knew, his dad did not know the Lord. And the father had been sick and dying for some time.
And my friend said that as he'd gone to visit his dad periodically over the last several months and knew that it wasn't going to be long, he said "One of the hardest things for me about watching my dad die was realizing that I had never received a blessing from him."
My friend is in his 50s. He came to know the Lord when he was in his 40s--did not grow up in a Christian home. And he said, "As I watched my dad dying, I realized I had always hoped for this blessing from my dad, and now he was dying and he couldn't give it to me."
He said, "The last times we were together he didn't even recognize who I was." And my friend said "I was really wrestling with this because I wanted so desperately something that I realized now I would probably never have."
Then he said, "It's as if the Lord impressed his heart with this thought, Are you going to be all right? Is it all right with you if I, God, give you the blessing instead of your dad?
And my friend said that you know, when he first had that question posed to his heart, he wasn't even sure that he could say "yes."
But he realized that was the issue, that he needed to receive from God the blessing that God was going to give him and that God has given him in Christ and is giving him and is always going to give him. That he is blessed in Christ, and that it needed to be all right with him. Not all right as in "this is what God's ideal would have been," but "all right in the sense that we live as redeemed people in a fallen, cursed world."
And God's saying, "I give you the blessing. And will you receive that blessing from me as being sufficient for you, even if you never receive it from the people here on earth that should have given it, and that you would love to have received it from?"
He said that, you know, from that point he had that kind of exchange with the Lord, that it was okay. He said over the next couple of days he just felt that burden start to get lifted off his heart--a burden that he's carried in one way or another for over 50 years.
Even as a nonbeliever there was this longing to have the blessing of a dad who had never received a blessing from God himself and had no understanding of how important that was, no capability of giving a blessing that he himself had never experienced.
And my friend tapped into, I think, something very important here as we're talking about how to overcome the curse of words in our lives. And this man, as with many, many other people in our very broken and fragmented society, grew up in a home where there was a lot of cursing, not just profanity but demeaning, belittling conversation.
And I know my friend has struggled a lot with his own sense of acceptance, in his own marriage, to know how to give the blessing to his wife and to his children. He's had to work through what it means to receive the blessing from the Lord. And you have to work through that, as well, if you want to overcome the curse of words in your past or in your present.
As you're renewing your mind with the Word of God, then you need to be willing to receive by faith the blessing that God wants to give you and to say, "Lord, Your blessing is all that I really have to have."
Do you want it from your mother? Do you want it from your dad? Absolutely. Was your heart created to long for that? Yes. But can you live without it successfully? Can you be blessed without it? Absolutely.
And if you don't learn to receive God's blessing in your life by faith and for that to be sufficient, then you're going to find yourself handicapped as you try to give the blessing to your mate, to your children, to your friends, to others because you're always going to be operating out of this deficit.
"I didn't get it, so I can't give it." Well, if you're a child of God, you have a blessing in your life that is greater than any human parent, the best of human parents, could have ever given to you.
And our giving the blessing to others is really ultimately dependent upon our receiving first, by faith, the blessing from God. Now, you say, "Well, there's still that little part of me or that big part of me, that just craves for my mom, for my dad to say, "I'm pleased with the way you turned out. I love you."
Let me just say, "You may never receive that." But the grace of God, the redemptive plan and purpose of God is such that He is more than able to fill those empty places of your heart and to give you a vast reservoir out of which you can minister grace and blessing to others.
Now, I keep saying, and I keep emphasizing this: It's by faith because you can't see God. And you don't hear Him say the words that you've longed to hear, maybe from a parent or from a mate or from a son or daughter. You won't probably ever audibly hear God say, "I love you," as the voice from heaven said to Jesus, "This is my beloved Son in whom I'm well pleased."
But God, nonetheless, because you are in Christ, has that view of you. You are accepted in the Beloved. And He says, "Because you are in Christ, I am pleased with you."
If you want to overcome the curse of words in your life, you've got to receive God's blessing. And then you have to also be willing to release those who have cursed you, those from whom you've longed to receive a blessing.
There has to come that place where you release those people, let them go because if you insist on holding on, then you're going to find yourself a prisoner, all of your life. You'll find yourself a grownup child.
And God wants you to grow up into Christ, to grow up in faith, to grow up into His blessing and as an act of faith to say, "I release those people who either spoke cursing into my life--or those people, maybe it wasn't something they said, it was what they didn't say--there was just the absence of blessing, a parent who never said, "I love you. I'm pleased with you."
And there has to come that point where as an adult, you release that person, you release that situation to God, you release that person into God's hands and you extend forgiveness.
Bless those who curse you. And then as we seek to overcome the power of cursing that has taken place in our lives, we need to come to the place where we repent of any cursing that we have done to others.
We're so conscious of those who have cursed us or failed to bless us. But God can use that pain as a signal in our own hearts that we have issues we need to deal with.
And you must come to the place, I must come to the place where we repent of any cursing that we have done to others. If we don't repent of cursing we have done, then we will never be free from the cursing others have done to us.
James, chapter 3, talks about this in very, I think, convicting terms. He's talking about the whole matter of the tongue. And I was particularly convicted as I read this recently because in the context he's talking to those who teach the Word.
And he's saying, "Be careful about your words. If you're teaching others, examine your own heart, examine your own words because there will be a stricter accountability, you who are teaching the Word to others, you who are raising children and teaching them right and wrong--you're going to be accountable for your words."
I'm going to be accountable for my words. And he says in verse 8, that no human being can tame the tongue, James, chapter 3. It's a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
And then this paragraph, verse 9, James 3, "With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father." There's that word "eulogy." "To bless." It means "to speak well of," with our tongues.
We go to church, we sing songs, we pray prayers, we say "bless You, Lord." And with the same tongue we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.
That word "curse" there is from a Greek word that means "to wish someone evil or ruin." We wish someone evil or ruin, and we express that with our tongues--either to that person or to others about that person.
So, it says that on the one hand, you're using your tongue to say "Bless You, Lord," and then you're turning around and using that same tongue to speak evil or to wish ruin upon people who are made in God's image.
From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. And then he says, "My brothers, these things ought not to be so." There's something wrong with this picture.
"Does a spring pour forth from the same opening, both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives--or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water."
He's saying, "The outcome, what comes out," says something about the source. And if what's coming out of your mouth are words of speaking evil, wishing ruin upon others, even in jesting ways--then it says that there's a contaminated, cursed fountain inside that is producing that spring.
Now, I want to pick up again with this thought in the next session on repenting of cursing we've done to others. But let's just take a moment and agree with whatever God may have just said to us.
First, have you received God's blessing in your life? And is that sufficient for you?
And then second, is there someone you need to release? Someone who has cursed you? Someone who never blessed you who should have, but they didn't? Have you turned them over to the Lord?
And then thirdly, is there any cursing that you need to repent of? Ways that you have wounded, belittled, or spoke demeaning words of, a child, a parent, a friend, a pastor--and you need to repent? So that you can be free of the power of the curse of words.
Leslie Basham: That was Nancy Leigh DeMoss, helping us examine our hearts and see where we might need to repent in the area of cursing. We'd like to help you make encouraging words part of your lifestyle.
If you go to our Web site, take a look at the "Overcoming the Curse of Words" packet that can help you grow in this area.
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Even when we aren't aware of it, we can curse others with our words. Nancy Leigh DeMoss will talk about that tomorrow. Please join us for Revive Our Hearts.
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