Posted with the kind permission of Ashley Hutheram.
Like a thousand knives dipped in fire and hurled into the heart, so is the destructive force of a condemning tongue.
After a tumultuous experience losing my dad at the age of 11, I found myself wrapped in the claws of addiction throughout my teenage years and into my 20’s. The world of substance abuse offered me an escape from the painful wounds in my soul. Numbing the pain by losing my senses was the answer the world offered me when there seemed to be no other way.
But God, in His perfect love came down and set me free at the appointed time. His Love mended the wounds and delivered me from the path of destruction. His love burned the dross and cast away all fear.
I look back when the days where dazed and hopelessness seemed to be my daily bread, my thoughts settle on an enemy that kept me in a place of confinement and that cruel taskmaster was condemnation.
The accuser of the brethren knows very well that accusation, condemnation, slander, gossip and any malicious words against another is the catalyst to death.
He uses people of the world to do His bidding and also many in the church today who have been bound by religious strongholds that engender a false image of who the God of love truly is.
The famous words of many of the religious folk used against me while I was caught in the shackles of addiction were, “God cannot be mocked…. You will reap what you sow….”
I remember someone quoting scripture about a “dog returning to its vomit” when I had tried quitting the life of addiction in my own strength and failed. The message of going to hell, was banged on my head numerous times.
Do people really believe that those in sin are voluntarily putting their hands up to be chosen for eternal flames?
As someone who was brought up in a Christian home, I believed in God, but did not come to a place of submission due to the battle with myself. I will often say to people around me “Christians are the most judgmental people I have come across” – it was the truth of my experience!
Every word of condemnation painted a picture of who God was and even though I considered myself a Christian the very scriptures that people often quoted against me in condemnation dimmed my desire to come into the light and experience this God who appeared very cruel and lacked compassion for me.
Accusation, slander and all forms of condemnation were a common occurrence while in the pit and interestingly most of it came from believers, even the world seemed to be more understanding to my circumstance.
Every word against me was like an arrow which pierced the heart, doused any hope of God been the answer and led to a hardening of the heart. Substance abuse became a reprieve even from the arrows of accusation and slander.
Before long, the carnal man reigned supreme and even those who came to me to minister in love were rejected by my inner hostility to the truth. I had to hit rock bottom and come to the end of myself for healing to begin, and this was the work of God for which I am very grateful.
The scriptures say that life and death is in the power of the tongue; we have the ability to impart life or death in the words we speak. As believers we carry the banner of Jesus Christ through our words and actions daily, we represent Him if we call ourselves Christian.
The world associates Jesus Christ with Christianity and they associate you to Him – how you treat the world is how they view the God you serve.
God is love, when we walk in His love, we emit a fragrance that attracts the dying world that are looking for a saviour.
We can bash people with the Bible on their heads and tell them they’re going to hell and watch when they turn and run from us or we can choose to walk in Love and witness the attractive force that love emanates.
Not everyone will be attracted to this love, due to their hardened hearts, but those who are ready and have been drawn by the Father, will inhale the scent of love you exude and they will find hope in their hopelessness.
To walk in love, we have to know love. The only way to know love is through a personal encounter with love.
Jesus Christ offered the way into the paradise of love. He is love and through Him lies an endless stream of knowing Love – your submission to Him through an intimate relationship is the key to unlocking the life that is saturated with His Love.
“….And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God,” Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV).
~ Ashley Hutheram
Ashley Hutheram – a son of God in Christ Jesus.