Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What’s in a Word? Part 4 - Martin Wiles

Blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! James 3:10 NLT

And to think, we were glad when he learned to talk. 

Our first grandchild was slow beginning to talk. He seemed beyond the normal age when his first words rolled off his tongue. Though we didn’t say anything to our daughter, my wife and I couldn’t help but wonder if he was autistic or challenged in other ways. 

Then things changed. Almost overnight, new words began pouring out. Before long, he was speaking in broken sentences. Now we find ourselves having to be cautious about what we say. He parrots everything we speak. Much of it, he doesn’t understand. He merely repeats. 

According to James, random words and sentences come from our mouths, words that lift others up and words that tear others down. 

Words reflect our thoughts. Jesus said what was in our heart would come out in our speech. A common sense conclusion. When my heart is pure, words that have the same quality will seep from my mouth. An impure heart produces the opposite. If someone wants to know what I think about most of the time, all they have to do is spend a little time with me. 

Words determine direction. Psychologists call this self-fulfilling prophecy. What I tell myself on a regular basis—what counselors called self-talk, normally plays itself out in my actions. If I constantly tell myself how incapable I am and how I’ll never amount to anything—while at the same time wondering why God even created me—my direction in life will follow a disappointing vein. I’ll avoid new pursuits and probably miss God’s plan for my life. 

Words are examined by God. God knows the words that make up my thoughts regardless of whether or not I ever speak or write them. My prayer should be that the words of my heart would be acceptable in God’s sight. 

Words can reflect hypocrisy. I can build someone up to their face and tear them down behind their back. I can pretend to love them while in their presence and attempt to destroy them when I’m not. Contradictory practices such as those reveal a divided—hypocritical, heart. 

Examine the thoughts of your heart so the words that follow will please God.

Prayer: Father, give us wisdom and courage to speak words that reflect our love for You and our concern for others. 

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