By Allen White
“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:30-37
Words are powerful things. Words can injure. Words can heal. Words can bring success. Words can predict failure.
People often scoff at the power of positive thinking. If you’ve embraced negative thinking, how is that working out for you?
Considering that ultimately we will all be judged for our words, there is certainly a case here for biting our tongues. The condition of our hearts is judged by our words. Sure we can fake it for a while, but when we get squeezed by this world, our words will betray what’s inside of us.
The most troublesome matter regarding our words is this idea of the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. It sounds incurable. It sounds daunting. To some, it even sounds like something they might accidentally do and then get locked out for good. What does it mean?
The Holy Spirit came to earth to work on what’s inside of all of us. His mission is this: “When [the Spirit] comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned” (John 16:8-11). Through each person’s conscience, the Holy Spirit activates an awareness of what’s right and wrong (Romans 9:1).
Over the years, I have heard activists from various persuasions blame evangelical Christians for making sinful people feel bad about themselves. They have a point. It’s not any believer’s job to judge other people, but to extend God’s love to them.
But, if every evangelical Christian in the world shut up (imagine that), people who are slaves to sin would still feel convicted of their sins. Why? Because the Holy Spirit is also working on them. No one can escape it.
While plenty of people use Jesus’ name in vain, we really don’t hear much swearing that involves the Holy Spirit. So what is this blasphemy? I believe blaspheming the Holy Spirit comes down to continually ignoring His voice and refusing to seek forgiveness for our sins.
Every person who dies in sin and hasn’t sought salvation spends eternity separated from God. It’s the unpardonable sin – a pardon was available, but they never requested it.
Who do you know that believes God has given up on them? As long as they have breath in their bodies, the Holy Spirit is still working on them. They may have lost sensitivity to Him years ago, but He’s still right there. Lift them up in prayer. Pray for their sensitivities to God’s Spirit to be heightened. Pray that they get themselves in enough of a mess that they’ll cry out to God.
Now, what about you? What are you telling yourself these days? Are your words positive and uplifting or are they negative and defeating? What are you saying to those around you? As a believer, the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in you (Romans 8:9-11). Tap into that and see how your words might change.
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