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Prosperity doctrine and "the power of the tongue"

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Prosperity doctrine and "the power of the tongue"

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My pastor shared this website on Facebook today…  

 https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/pages/prosperity

I haven't dipped into that site yet, not being familiar with it, but this is my question (the sort of question I rarely get tenable answers to)…

"It's been troubling me for a long time that the more I study the Scriptures about the power of the tongue the more it sounds like the worldly doctrine of "the law of attraction" ( la the movie The Secret).  I've tried to find the dividing line of truth between them but only get more perplexed.  If I talk about sickness will I then be sick?  If I talk about faith will I then have confidence in God through trials?"

I'm in the middle of so many fires that need putting out… the floors of my ancient apartment are collapsing and the landlords have decided to sell the property so I'm looking for a new home on a Social Security budget, I have MCS so the pesticide spraying and chlorinated water of public housing is out, and the physical and cognitive difficulties I've felt creeping up over the last dozen years are compounded by a lifelong battle with anxiety and have been been further exacerbated by the mold here.  I'm having difficulty organizing and applying myself to the details of navigating all these problems.   

It feels fake to just say "I trust God and it will all work out", even as I do trust God that He is aware of and cares about every nuance of my life, yet I cannot quench these fires without help… God's, directly or through His servants.  How do I honor God in these problems, ask for help, etc. without talking about them?   It's confusing to contemplate and reconcile obeying God's Word about the tongue while not falling prey to worldly and/or false teaching.

I guess I need to know just what the Bible means by "power" where our speech is concerned.

faith filled words

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Kathryn,

Luke 6:45 NIV

"A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." 

The Bible says that our words are a direct result of what is stored up in our hearts. What is in our hearts, minds, and souls is what we have been pondering and mulling over. Some people speak our every passing thought, but most of the time, our words reflect the subjects we have spent a lot of time thinking and feeling about. Those thoughts and feelings represent what our hearts and minds believe to be true about ourselves, others, and our circumstances. What we believe to be true is our faith. And, faith has power. What we have faith in, whether good or bad, affects the thoughts and feelings that we nurture and grow in our hearts and minds. What we consistently ponder in our hearts and minds eventually comes out of our mouths in our words.

If we have faith in God, we will believe what God says is true about ourselves, others, and our circumstances. We will ponder and nurture good thoughts, and our words will reflect that. Our godly words and actions will positively affect our lives and relationships. If we have faith in something that isn't God (the devil, fear, the news, etc.), we will believe what that says is true rather than what God says is true, which is by definition a lie. Then, we will ponder those lies in our hearts, and they will come out of our mouths and into our actions, negatively affecting our lives and relationships.

We are not talking about just mentioning some subject once in a while and having it affect our lives. It is the constant and consistent pondering of some subject in a person's heart resulting in frequent speech that that directly reflects the person's belief system that causes changes in the person's life. The faith in the person's heart comes out through the tongue and has power. Whether a person has faith in God or faith in something else, that faith will affect their lives and be exposed by the tongue.

The tongue isn't some weird magical object that can say some words and magically make them happen. It is a tool to expose what we believe in our hearts. The tongue expresses the faith that we have in God or in something else. It is our faith that changes our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. And, that is what affects our lives positively or negatively. Also, when we have faith in God, it opens the door for Him to work in our lives and circumstances. When we have faith in something else, like fear, it opens the door for that to work in our lives and circumstances.

The power of the tongue is two fold. On one hand, it reveals what is in our own hearts, whether good or bad.  The other power is to affect our relationships to build them up or tear them down. Once we see what is going on inside our hearts, we can get help from God to adjust accordingly from the inside out. As we make the changes God asks us to make in our hearts and beliefs, we will see the effect in our speech, actions, and relationships.

Practically, this doesn't mean that we shouldn't talk about our problems or deny that we have them. Those are facts. God doesn't directed us to pretend that facts aren't facts. But, we can frame those facts in terms of God's power to help us, rescue us, and fix our problems, or we can fame those facts in terms of our own powerlessness, worry, fear, anger, etc. It is the perspective that you talk about sickness, lack, and other struggles that matters, not the problems themselves. If you say you trust God, that doesn't mean your problems don't exist or that you can't mention them to anyone. It means that you fully expect God to help you with your problems and are willing to obey whatever He tells you to do about them. You are free to tell people about your needs in the context of God's provision and to ask for help knowing that God will direct them in how to help you. 

Sarah

I can't tell you how thoroughly helpful your reply is.  Besides the sense of relief it brings in regard to my simple question, it speaks to other areas I've had some perplexity over as well.  Thank you.

Would you consider posting some part of my question and your reply to your site's Facebook page so that I can share this with others from there?  

I found my other copy, so when I attended a luncheon last month sponsored by the ministry of my Biblical counselor (www.DaughtersofChristMinistry.org) I gave Dr. Sifuentes my spare copy of your book (which she promised to try to get to).  Since I had asked her this question and we briefly discussed the topic I'd like to share this with her, not least to encourage her to make time in her studies for your book and, who knows, even encourage her to talk to others about hearing your presentations.  I'd also like to pass it on to my pastor.  I guess you know how busy both are, so that asking them to join this site just out of hand so they could see this probably couldn't hit the top of their to-do lists any time soon.  

The power of the tongue "to affect our relationships to build them up or tear them down" would also affect our relationship with God, would it not?  

Also, at what point does God's word written on our hearts come into play?

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Oh dear… it appears I failed to login before typing my reply earlier.  Didn't realize it until I saw the email notification of a reply by Guest.  Sorry about that.

I'm getting things from starting over again of HRLtQV that I missed on the first reading.

Last edit: by Kathryn Arnold

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