September 19th 2023
#277: Unlocking Sexual Integrity Through the Power of Your Words
Ever wondered how the words we whisper, speak, or shout can shape our reality, particularly in our pursuit of sexual integrity?
Prepare to expand your understanding as we delve into the astounding power of language – both God’s and our own. Drawing from scripture, we explore how words can either propel us towards or pull us away from our quest.
Ready to use this powerful tool to move forward on your journey to sexual integrity? Join us as we unravel this intriguing concept.
Ever stopped to consider the transformative effect of God’s mercy and forgiveness in your life, especially in the context of sexual integrity?
Let’s make sense of it together.
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By precisely identifying our sins and acknowledging the need for God’s mercy, we reveal a path for profound change. We’ll also discuss the purpose of God’s commands, shifting focus from restriction to protection, and emphasizing the immense love behind them.
By naming our sins and accepting God’s mercy, we step into a space of love and forgiveness, guiding us towards a healthier and more wholesome sexuality.
Listen in, learn, and let the power of words positively steer your journey towards sexual integrity.
Transcription: Unlocking Sexual Integrity Through the Power of Your Words
Josh Glaser [00:00:00]:
You in your journey towards sexual integrity. I want to introduce to you today an element of your life that you may not recognize as being connected to how you see what you see and how you are able to move away from lust and whatever sexual immorality you may be struggling with. And towards sexual integrity. Oftentimes we think about our desire. We think about what our body feel heels. We think about our genitals. We think about what we see with our eyes. But a lot of times we don’t think about the power of our words and what they do in this journey towards sexual integrity, how they either help us to move towards sexual integrity to become more whole, or how they move us towards struggling more with sexual immorality and actually keep us stuck.
Josh Glaser [00:00:47]:
So I want to talk about that today. I just got back from Tijuana. I was there on a missions trip. It’s a whole nother story. But I do want to just point out one thing that we noticed on the trip. There were some people who had either because they had studied in school or had spent the last several months really diving into things like duolingo and some who were just maybe a little bit more courageous to try to speak Spanish while they were in Mexico. I was a little more sheepish. I studied Spanish a long, long time ago and definitely felt rusty.
Josh Glaser [00:01:17]:
And it impacted my ability both to get tasks done and certainly my ability to connect with people there, to understand them, to know where they were coming from, to know their hearts, to feel connected to them, to feel like I had some kind of relationship with them. And by the time our week was up, the people that we’d worked closest with there felt closest to the people on our team who tried the most to speak Spanish. I mean, those are the people they were giving hugs to. Those are the people they felt like they had some kind of connection with. Our words have power. This isn’t just about foreign language learning. Our words have power on so many levels to shape the reality that we live in or to misshape our ability to connect with what is real. So I want to talk about that today.
Josh Glaser [00:02:05]:
In a minute, I want to read you just a list of and just really quickly several passages from Scripture that talk about the power of our words and the power of God’s words. But before I do that, I want to just ask you some questions just to kind of prime the pump in your own thinking about the words that you may use. So, for example, when you’re talking about if you struggle with pornography, say, when you’re talking about your struggle with pornography, how do you talk about it? When you confess your sin, what are the words that you use to confess the sins that you’re struggling with? Do you confess the sins that you’re struggling with to anybody. When you pray about this to the Lord, what kinds of things do you say to Him? Just what’s one common thing you’ve said to Him about this area of struggle for you? Or when you think about it in your own head, when you think about your struggle, what are the words that go through your brain? Go through your mind go through your thoughts to describe or define or characterize how you feel about you with this struggle or how you feel about the people that you’re lusting after or the things that you’re doing or the people you’re hooking up with. Or God and his connection. What are the words? So just think about that for a moment. Now, as you think about those things, I want you to listen to these verses because I think they really highlight for us some element of how powerful our words can be. Scripture has a lot to say about this.
Josh Glaser [00:03:29]:
There’s no way I could go through all the passages, but I just want to give you just a brief handful. Proverbs 18 proverbs has a lot to say about the power of our words. Proverbs 18 says death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Paul in Ephesians says, let no corrupting talk come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear, to others and to yourself. Matthew 15 jesus says, what comes out of a mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. So it’s not what you take into your mouth, it’s what comes out of your mouth. There’s a connection, Jesus says, between the words you use and what’s happening in your heart. James says that the tongue is a small member, but it can set a big forest on fire.
Josh Glaser [00:04:19]:
That’s James Three proverbs again. Proverbs twelve says, the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 16 gracious words are like a honeycomb, a honeycomb sweetness to the soul and health to the body. And then Jesus again in Matthew twelve says I tell you, on the Day of Judgment, people will give account for every careless word they speak. Why is that? Is it because God’s the word police? No. Is it because God wants to control everything you say? No. But it’s because our words have power. They have power to defile.
Josh Glaser [00:04:52]:
They have power to bring life. They have power to help us conceive what is real and what is false, what’s true and what’s not. They have power to impact you and your own thinking, and what you think then impacts your heart, and vice versa. And they also have power to do these things in the lives of other people. Your words matter for you. If you desire sexual integrity, sexual wholeness, consider your words. And I’m giving some more examples of specifically some of the words you might decide to change or shift a little bit that could really help you in this journey. In contrast to our words, as powerful as our words are, god’s words are so much more powerful.
Josh Glaser [00:05:31]:
Listen to this. Matthew four jesus is talking to Satan and he says it’s written man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. We can actually feed on, be sustained on the words that come from God’s mouth. We know in John one one that Jesus is actually the word of God, the spoken word of God made into flesh. Wow. There’s something about God’s Word that is eternal, that’s everlasting that’s powerful. Matter of fact, Jesus in Matthew 24 says, heaven and earth will pass away, but his words will never pass away. And then John 15, jesus says that to his disciples, you are already clean because of the word that I’ve spoken to you.
Josh Glaser [00:06:09]:
God’s Word has power to clean us up. God’s words are so much more powerful, thank God that his words are. And then the writer of Hebrews says in Hebrews four, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing the division of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. God’s Word has such power and we’re made in his image. Our words have power too, nothing near what God’s words have. Our words will pass away, his will not. But there is a connection between the power of God’s words to bring about sexuality, to speak things into existence. And although we can’t speak things into existence, we do speak in such a way that does impact our sense of existence and the way that we engage in the world around us.
Josh Glaser [00:06:54]:
So all that said, let me shift gears. Now let’s talk about the words that we use, about sexual integrity, about sex, and I’m just going to give you a couple of examples. Then I’m going to talk to you about how changing your language in those ways can actually help you in this journey. So two recommendations in how you speak, and I want to encourage you to seek to be more intentional about these two things in how you do things. Number one, I want to encourage you to work hard to say what you really mean, to say things as you really mean them. And so when you find yourself saying things like well, something like that, or whatever, or even sometimes if people are asking you questions about your heart or your thoughts, and you say, I don’t really know. I’ll have to think about that. Make sure that you come back to that and think about it.
Josh Glaser [00:07:44]:
Let it out. You want to speak those words? Another example would be when you confess your sin. I mean, first of all, one question would be do you confess your sin? Do you say with your mouth the sins that you’ve done, but when you confess to someone else the sins you’ve committed? I want to ask you this question. Do you confess sin or are you actually saying something else that’s maybe not technically a sin? And again, this isn’t about being the word police, but it’s about shaping your own sense of what did I do? What is the reality that I’m living in? So, for example, if I’m confessing my sin to my brother and I say, yeah, hey, I have to confess that I looked at porn this week, I looked at porn this week. Now, technically, I might say, well, is that a sin? Because maybe porn just popped up on my computer and I looked at it and looked away. I couldn’t help but look at it. But I looked away and I never really lusted. So I looked at porn this week.
Josh Glaser [00:08:39]:
It’s not very clear. It’s not very accurate. What’s the real sin? Well, I lusted this week, I lusted while viewing pornography. And you might even say, for how long? Let’s even ramp that up a notch. What does it mean to lust after pornography? Pornography is a thing. You’re not really lusting after a thing, are you? No. You’re actually lusting after people who are filmed in pornography. Okay, so I lusted after men and women in porn this week.
Josh Glaser [00:09:11]:
Now, that changes things a bit further, doesn’t it? So we started with I watched porn this week versus I lusted after men and women in porn this week. Can you hear the difference? Can you hear the way can you feel, even the way that it shifts your sense of what you did and what’s really happening here that’s important? Relatedly to that, I want to encourage you when you’re talking about your struggle with sexual sin, don’t talk about things, talk about people. So anything from what I just expressed, like, it’s not that you viewed porn, it’s that you viewed people inappropriately, but also think about the way that you talk about people on the street. Do you say, for example, man, it’s summertime and there’s so much temptation out there. There’s so much temptation out there. Now, James says that we are all tempted when we’re enticed by what’s in here, what’s inside of us. The temptation is not out there. What’s out there? Well, people are out there.
Josh Glaser [00:10:14]:
People not things. So this brings us right to the heart of a few things. And here’s I’m going to even unfold a little bit more about how the power of our words can help to shape our own sense of what is real and what is really happening in these moments. So again, this isn’t about being the word police. This is about helping you to live in what’s real. And that will help you to gain more and more sexual wholeness and more and more sexual integrity. So the first thing it does is, frankly. And you’ll hear it in that it highlights the severity of your sin.
Josh Glaser [00:10:45]:
Now, that sounds like bad news initially, but it’s important for us to face the reality of the sin that we’ve done. It’s one thing to say something like, well, we all wrestle with lust, or we all struggle with porn, or Most guys look at porn, or Most girls look at porn, whatever. That’s just kind of like that’s being cavalier about our sin. It’s actually important to name our sin and recognize the severity of it. Jesus didn’t go to the cross for something that was benign, right? You don’t cut out a benign tumor necessarily. The ones you really need to be aggressive with are the ones that are cancerous, the ones that will kill you, and sin leads to death. So we want to treat it accurately. So this isn’t about being severe with ourselves in order to make ourselves feel bad for to increase shame, but it’s about recognizing this is serious.
Josh Glaser [00:11:34]:
I don’t want to treat something that’s going to kill me as though it’s benign. I don’t want to treat it cavalierly. I want to treat it as severe as it should be. So that’s number one. The second thing that shapes up for us is that it shapes up for us more clearly our need for God’s mercy and forgiveness, which he readily gives. He readily wants to give us his forgiveness. And so when we shy away or kind of move our language to be more vague and not to be clear about the severity of our sin, I watched porn versus I used other people’s bodies today for my own selfish gratification. One sounds more severe, one is more clear why I need God’s forgiveness and his mercy.
Josh Glaser [00:12:12]:
And if you want God’s mercy, and I hope you do if you want his forgiveness, if you want to be fully cleansed, then name it. Call it for what it is, and then let his mercy flow through you. Honestly, for me and this is just me, maybe it’s not for you, but when I use language that is kind of watering down the reality of my sin, I almost feel like when I receive God’s mercy, I don’t receive as much of it. And I don’t think it’s because God’s not giving it. I think it’s because I haven’t really opened up the depth of my sin to Him. And I need to do that because I want his mercy. As Andrew Kamisky says, water flows to the lowest place. And so likewise, when we place ourselves in a low place with the Lord and acknowledge the sexuality of our own sin and brokenness, including mine today, let me acknowledge it fully that I might receive God’s mercy as it flows to the lowest place because I want to drink deeply of God’s love, his mercy, his forgiveness.
Josh Glaser [00:13:10]:
I don’t want to drink just a drop. I need big drafts of it. So first it highlights the severity of what we’ve done, the reality of our sin. Secondly, it highlights our need for mercy, our need for God’s forgiveness, which he readily gives and we want to receive all of it that we can. And thirdly, it highlights for us God’s character and continuity. God’s character and continuity? What do I mean by that? Well, if we are talking about sin cavalierly, we’re talking about watching porn, everybody does that. Or there’s lots of temptation out there and our brain is kind of subtly shifting to it’s not that big a deal, then suddenly the fact that God calls it a sin raises questions in our mind. Why is it such a big deal to him? Why does he make such a big deal out of it? And that’s the voice of the enemy.
Josh Glaser [00:13:58]:
That’s the voice of the enemy. In the same way, going back to the physician idea that if your doctor said, hey, you’ve got a malignant cancer and it’s going to kill you, if you had a friend in your life, quote unquote friend in your life who said, listen, I’ve seen the X ray, it’s not that big a deal. Why is he making such a big deal out of that small little thing? Well, he’s making light of something that is severe and he’s then making light of your doctor’s character and expertise. God’s warnings against sin aren’t because he’s a killjoy, aren’t because he doesn’t want you to have fun, aren’t because he’s a prude and doesn’t like sex, none of the above. That’s what the enemy wants you to think about God. But when we recognize I used other people’s bodies, I treated them like they were things, like they were less than human, like they were subservient to my sexual desires and I let my appetites go ravenous and I basically ate them up, chewed them out and forgot about them. I mean, again, I’m not trying to beat myself up here, but like, man, that’s some of the reality of what lust does to somebody. I’m not caring about them.
Josh Glaser [00:15:04]:
I’m using them for my own selfish gratification for the basis part of me. Well, now God’s character comes through. Now the abundance of his love comes through. He died for me. Who does those things to other people? Wow. He said no to that. Not because he’s a killjoy, but because he cares about those people. He doesn’t want them harmed and he doesn’t want me harmed either.
Josh Glaser [00:15:28]:
He doesn’t want me acting like an animal when actually I’m meant to be a human person too. So this is just one example. And there are lots in our culture today around the area of sexuality and the way that language is being manipulated both in our own brains but also culturally, the way that language is. Being manipulated to get us to think and believe things about what reality is so that we believe and kind of buy into the enemy’s perspective of what’s reality and kind of water down sin view it as not that big a deal and God’s kind of a killjoy. Christian ethics are outdated rather than no. When we say things as they really are, when we name things as they really are, when we learn God’s language for things and conceive of them and ingest them, we come to realize that, number one, we are in bad shape. Number two, we need God’s forgiveness and he gives it abundantly to us. And number three, all of this is because God’s character is hugely, hugely good.
Josh Glaser [00:16:28]:
God is so good and his love is so rich and abundant that he wants nothing but the best for us and for other people. And so his commandments are good and right and beautiful. So Lord, would you grant us and I’ve just given quick examples today but would you grant us truth in our innermost being as you promised you would through Your Holy Spirit, that we might use language that affirms what’s real and true in our lives? That we might drink more deeply, Lord, of Your forgiveness and mercy and love for us and that we might come to know you more and more and more as the good Father that you are who wants nothing but the best for his children. Lord, I pray all this for our sake, for the sake of the men and women that we’ve mistreated through our lust and for Your glory. In Jesus name. Amen.