I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore. The way I see it, God’s abilities to bless us, prosper us, strengthen us, heal and deliver us are not time-sensitive.
The New Year is a great, calendar-convenient time for reflection and life re-evaluation.
But the New Year in itself has no power.
However, there is one particular goal of mine that I am putting extra emphasis on right now. And I bet some of you can relate.
I want to get better learning how to use my double-edged sword.
Yes, I carry a double-edged sword. And whether you know it or not, you do as well.
In case you were unaware, let’s talk about it a bit.
The double-edged sword was the weapon of choice during battle in Medieval times. It offered a greater flexibility in being able to cut off enemies on either side. It was especially designed for both slashing and thrusting, regardless of which direction it was being wielded.
Now, there is both a benefit and a danger in handling a two-edged sword. The writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews likened God’s Word to such a weapon — actually regarding it as “sharper than any double-edged sword.” When Paul wrote of the Christian’s armor, he listed six defensive weapons and one offensive weapon called the “Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God!”
Indeed, the sword of God’s Spirit is powerful.
But there is another type of sword, more personal to us. It’s in our mouths.
Yes. There’s a sword in our mouths. It, too, is sharp and it also has power. According to the Apostle James, the two sides of our personal sword can take on quite opposite characteristics. With it, he says, “We praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who have been made in God’s likeness.” (James 3:9) From this same sword, he says, “comes praise and cursing.” (verse 10). This sword cannot be tamed by regular means. James states it to be “very small, but makes great boasts.”
When this sword is used haphazardly, James compared it to “a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.” This little sword can be so harmful, so dangerous that it’s capable of “corrupting the whole person,” and setting “the whole course of one’s life on fire all by itself!” (See James 3:1-11) Taming its power can bring life. Losing control of it can bring about lasting, permanent wounds and even death.
In fact, marriages are destroyed by this sword every day. Households are disintegrated by it. Churches and ministries are grossly ineffective and sometimes even split and fold because of it.
Christianity as a whole is confused and often seen as weak, diluted and hypocritical because of the improper usage of these swords we carry.
But when utilized properly, lives can be changed, people can be healed, encouraged, delivered, set free. If handled rightly, this sword, backed by the Power of the Holy Ghost, could single-handedly deliver this sick and dying species of humanity into the arms of a loving and redemptive Savior. This sword — our sword — could change the world! Individually, it can change your life!
You don’t have to be a Christian to carry one of these swords. But once the saving power of Jesus Christ touches you, He gives your sword power to literally tear asunder the kingdom of darkness, while simultaneously establishing His Kingdom of Light!
Proverbs 12:18 tells us that much like the Norman Swords of ancient times, and the allegorical Sword of God’s Holy Word, your sword also has two sides. One used to cut down and bring destruction to your fellow man — your brother or sister in Christ. The other side, to hewn down the enemy with the edifying Word of God. What is this sword, you ask?
This sword is your tongue!
As we enter a new year, let us make it a practice to ask ourselves: Which side of my sword will I use today?
Gabriel Stovall covers sports for the Clayton News Daily and Henry Daily Herald newspapers. He is founder and lead pastor of NewLife Church. NewLife is a new ministry which currently meets each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. in the Forest Park Middle School cafeteria. Follow him on Twitter @gabrielcstovall.