But grow in grace (undeserved favor, spiritual strength) and recognition and knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him [be] glory (honor, majesty, and splendor) both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (so be it)!
2 Peter 3:18 AMPC.
God desires that we grow in grace. I can only ascertain that I am growing in grace if there are parameters to benchmark against. For instance, in the natural, if you want to check if a child is growing in stature, the parameters are height and weight. If you want to check if they are developing mentally, there are parameters to look at, such as their; perceiving, observing, remembering, imagining, thinking, solving problems, and growth of intelligence and language.
Likewise, there are parameters to look out for when growing in grace.
Our speech should not be judgemental and critical.
What effects do your words have on people? Does it bring help, hope, and healing? Are your words filled with hate, judgment, and bitterness? We speak based on the conditions of our Spirit ( Heart).
Jesus said a man speaks from the abundance of his heart; if the heart is critical and judgemental, his words will be colored by the condition of his heart.
“The upright (honorable, intrinsically good) man out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart produces what is upright (honorable and intrinsically good), and the evil man out of the evil storehouse brings forth that which is depraved (wicked and intrinsically evil); for out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart his mouth speaks.”
Luke 6:45 AMPC.
Jesus was a sharp contrast to the religious leaders who were legalistic, critical and judgemental. They hardly saw good in anyone. They were always looking out for the faults and weaknesses of other people to condemn them. Our Lord Jesus was totally different from them, His words were Gracious ( except to the Pharisees, Religious leaders, and Hypocrites), and he always spoke the Truth.
We have several accounts of people testifying about His gracious words or were affected positively emotionally by the words He spoke.
“Meanwhile, the attendants (guards) had gone back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, Why have you not brought Him here with you? The attendants replied, Never has a man talked as this Man talks! [No mere man has ever spoken as He speaks!].”
John 7:45-46 AMPC
Now it occurred that as He was saying these things, a certain woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, Blessed (happy and to be envied) is the womb that bore You and the breasts that You sucked!
Luke 11:27 AMPC
Do your words sting and crush you emotionally, or are they soothing and comforting? How do you respond in your words to those who speak against you, misrepresent, and malign you?
When he was verbally abused, he did not return with an insult; when he suffered, he would not threaten retaliation. Jesus faithfully entrusted himself into the hands of God, who judges righteously.
1 Peter 2:23 TPT
This is one way to measure if we are growing in grace. The Word admonishes us to speak Gracious words.
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer everyone.”
Colossians 4:6 NET
The more transformed and yielded we are to the Holy Spirit, the more evident this will be in our speech. The more we know Him through the intimacy of fellowship and the revelation of the Word, the more transformed our speech will be. The inner workings of the Holy Spirit in our hearts are reflected on the outside through our speech and conduct.
“But continue to grow and increase in God’s grace and intimacy with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May he receive all the glory both now and until the day eternity begins. Amen!
2 Peter 3:18 TPT.
Prayer: Lord, I yield my tongue to you. I ask for your help always to speak words filled with grace. Teach me to know what to say and how to always speak, in Jesus’ name. Amen
Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash