Do I know Jesus? Do I truly know Jesus with my heart?
We tend to grow indifferent to the Lord as we live out each day, sometimes in subtle ways and other times in big ones. We either become so familiar with God that we cease to truly know Him and enjoy His friendship or we get caught up in the routine of prayer exercises and our knowledge of God becomes just that: routine.
Faith depends on knowledge because we cannot trust someone we do not know. Taken further, our speech mirrors our faith and knowledge:
Beloved, you excel in everything: in the gifts of faith, speech and knowledge. // 2 Corinthians 8:7
Building Our Faith
We are called to excellence. Faith gives us hope when things are not going according to our plans. It gives us the strength and courage to dive into something the Holy Spirit has continuously put on our hearts, calming all our worries and reminding us not to fear (see Isaiah 43:1-2). Faith allows us to hold on during moments of weakness, sickness and loss because we believe that a new heaven and new earth await (see Revelation 21:4-5).
When we possess faith, we can speak life into situations and people. We ask and we speak because we know who is in charge and what He can do. Our own faith, then, becomes the propellant which helps other people’s faith journeys to start off, or perhaps re-start.
The gift of faith—gifted to us—allows us to see life through the lens of God’s plan and desires for us. When our eyes of faith are open, we are in a position to see the great and wonderful things God is doing in our lives, especially today (see Hebrews 11).
Training Our Tongues
The Lord gave me my tongue as a reward and I will praise Him with it. // Sirach 51:22
Throughout Scripture we are reminded of the need to keep our tongues clean of sin. James 3:2 tells us how those who make no mistake when they speak are perfect and able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle.
Yet, more often than not when things do not go our way, we say a lot of unnecessary things. Some of us do it more than others but the reminder and invitation stand: our gift of speech is called to excellence and, by the help of the Holy Spirit, we should learn to tame our speech, respectively. We can start today by speaking words which reflect faith even if we presently believe otherwise. When we believe it, we will see it. Psychology says that the more a lie is repeated, the more it begins to seem like the truth. Imagine if we utter only faith-infused words so that our speech convinces and ultimately leads us to have more faith. Imagine just how much our thoughts will transform into positive, hope-filled cogitations.
Praising God also means not using our tongues to speak to ourselves in ways God would disapprove. Speak gently to yourself. The best way to embrace the gift of speech we have been given is to praise God (see Psalm 100:1).
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Now Proclaim that Truth to Others
Have you ever met a person who knows things and then another who knows? As baptized Catholic Christians, we know the Truth in its fulness. But if we do not fuse all the knowledge that has been gifted to us by the Church through various channels, with the gifts of faith and speech, what good is our knowledge?
If we speak without knowledge, our words are without insight and pretty helpless (see Job 34:35, 38:2). If we use our gift of speech to showcase our knowledge from a place of pride, our knowledge is helpless because it is destructive. As we evangelize and or proselytize we must always remember that our gift of speech should share our knowledge in a loving manner. Winning hearts for Heaven should be our only task when we share knowledge. We have faith that the Holy Spirit will do His role to convince and convict and so we should leave that to Him and do our part (see Ephesians 3:19).
If we use our gifts of faith, speech, and knowledge well, we will excel in everything God has called us to do.
Written by Nyasha Masuku.