Monday, November 13, 2023

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

what's in a word
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 second grandchild was slow in beginning to talk. He seemed beyond the typical age when his first words rolled off his tongue. Although 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 poured out. Before long, he spoke in broken sentences. Soon, we found ourselves having to be cautious about what we said. He would parrot our words, most of which he didn’t understand. He merely repeated them.

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

Words reflect our thoughts. Jesus said what was in our hearts would come out in our speech. A commonsense conclusion. When our hearts are pure, words with the same quality will seep from our mouths. An impure heart produces the opposite. If someone wants to know what we think about most of the time, all they must do is spend a little time with us.

Words determine direction. Psychologists call this a self-fulfilling prophecy. What we tell ourselves regularly—what counselors call self-talk—usually plays itself out in our actions. If we constantly tell ourselves how incapable we are and how we’ll never amount to anything—while at the same time wondering why God even created us—our direction in life will follow a disappointing vein. We’ll avoid new pursuits and probably miss God’s plan.

Words are examined by God. God knows the words that make up our thoughts, regardless of whether we ever speak or write them. Our prayer should be that the words of our hearts would be acceptable in God’s sight.

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

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

Father, give me wisdom and courage to speak words that reflect my love for You and my concern for others. 

Tweetable: What do your words reveal? 

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