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  • Writer's pictureJack Selcher

Lip Service

Jesus touching the lips of a man with his index finger

Word streams can elevate others like moving air lifts a Boeing 747’s wings. Winston Churchill’s words fortified Great Britain to stand and fight against Hitler’s forces. “You can do it” from caring lips inspires people to dare and to do what they otherwise wouldn’t.

Those who speak encouraging words to God’s servants energize them like bellows feed a fire. Whether through ministries of God’s word or other kinds of service, their edifying words build others up. Their words come straight from their hearts (Psalm 21:2). They say what they think and feel. Like Jesus, gracious words flow from their lips (Luke 4:22).

They openly profess God’s name (Hebrews 13:15). They intentionally rid themselves of anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from their lips (Colossians 3:8). They keep their tongues from evil and lips from deceit (1 Pet 3:10).

Their hearts and lips rejoice because God has satisfied them (Psalm 63:5). They praise God joyfully because of His deliverance (Psalm 71:23). Their words are wise, their hearts discerning. (Proverbs 10:13). The Lord delights in their trustworthiness (Proverbs 12:22).

They encourage others best with God’s words on their lips (Exodus 13:9, Joshua 1:8). Their upright hearts launch those words (Job 33:3). They glorify God because His love for them is better than life (Psalm 63:3). They spread knowledge and promote instruction (Proverbs 15:7, Proverbs 16:23).

They encourage others to love and do good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). Their lip service is as God intended. But I am sure you’ve noticed that many words you hear don’t help you be the best person you can be.

Devastating, spinning air tornadoes destroy people and homes. Similarly, whirling malignant word streams do immeasurable damage. Like molten magma, they burn everything they touch.

 “Scoundrels create trouble; their words are a destructive blaze.” (Prov 16:27 NLT). “For their hearts plot violence, and their words always stir up trouble.” (Prov 24:2 NLT).

Some people and their words are sincerely malicious. They don’t try to fool anyone. They don’t try to manipulate or deceive. They drop 100-megaton word bombs intentionally.

But many others aren’t transparent. They intentionally deceive with lying lips and deceitful tongues (Psalm 120:2, Proverbs 26:24). What they say doesn’t reflect what they think, feel, and do.

Neighbors lie to each other, speaking with flattering lips and deceitful hearts.” (Psalm 12:2 NLT). “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies. Snake venom drips from their lips” (Romans 3:13 NLT).

The deceit extends into their religious lives. They pretend to be what they aren’t. They pretend to be Jesus’ followers but aren’t.

Religious lip service angers God. “Smooth words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a clay pot.” (Prov 26:23 NLT). The Lord says: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me’” (Matthew 15:8 NLT).

For what kind of lip service are you known? The kind that blesses or the kind that stresses. #freediscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources 

See free spiritual growth resources for Christians at

God has empowered me to write His Power for Your Weakness—260 Steps Toward Spiritual Strength. It’s a free devotional, evangelism, and discipleship resource. Pastors have used it in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia to lead more than 2,400 people to faith in Christ and teach the basics of Christianity to 4,093 people. I invite you to check it out. 

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