Fewer words, more content!

I love communication.  Yesterday Bev and I had a deep, engaged conversation with our daughter Maribel. Words flowed back and forth between us about issues of the heart, healing, clarifying, loving words.  In a meeting with a member of our ministry team words created vision, introduced strategies for change.  In another conversation with a fellow pastor there were words of encouragement and comfort.  In between there were dozens of exchanges, polite but superficial – ‘weather talk’ I call it, the way we navigate through society.

bigmouthBeing a man of words, I try to understand the value of language.  Some people care little for the way they use the gift of words. They flatter and manipulate, lie and deceive, boast, complain, criticize – with little thought for the toxins they are spewing on those around them.  Others just talk – the torrent of words meaning next to nothing, using 100 words where 1 would do! If your mailbox is anything like mine it brings you glossy flyers advertising everything from political candidates to extermination companies and offers of advice on everything from bugs in the lawn to the best plan for investing retirement funds! There are 250 channels on TV, access to hundreds of radio stations, and the Internet that lets us browse for information on any subject we desire.   So many words have made diamonds into dust so often. Who do we trust, what should we read? Is the information accurate or biased?

Jesus teaches us to use the gift of words with care!  Do we practice the simple, authentic manner of speaking to which He points here? “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37, NIV)  Mean what you say, say what you mean, He counsels.

Nowhere is this more important than when we are talking about the Gospel and our wonderful Lord. If we talk too much, saying things we know should be true, that are not practiced in our daily lives, we will cloud reality – to ourselves and to the world around us.  Jeremiah warned of prophets whose words were without inspiration. “These preachers are liars, and they use my name to cover their lies. I never sent them, I never commanded them, and I don’t talk with them. The sermons they’ve been handing out are sheer illusion, tissues of lies, whistlings in the dark.” (Jeremiah 14:14, The Message)

Peter is even stronger in his condemnation of those who talk about a spiritual experience that they do not possess. They are, he says, “as useless as dried-up springs of water or as clouds blown away by the wind—promising much and delivering nothing. They are doomed to blackest darkness. They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting. With lustful desire as their bait, they lure back into sin those who have just escaped from such wicked living. They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves to sin and corruption. (2 Peter 2:17-19, NLT)  Spiritual blather is not just a bother, it’s blasphemy.

The disciple whose tongue is submitted to Jesus and who communication is shaped by the overflow of the Spirit, is a fountain of life.  Sincere words, loving words, encouraging words, truthful words – are healing and hopeful. Honest words build strong ties between people.  God’s Word that shapes our words gives a beauty to our speech that brings admiration!

As you converse today, think of the value of the words you use.  Let this wisdom shape your speech, for God’s sake.

“The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters,
but the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.”
(Proverbs 18:4, NIV)

“A fool’s lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating.
A fool’s mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul.”
(Proverbs 18:6-7, NIV)

_________

Let My Words Be Few

You are God in heaven

And here am I on earth,

So I’ll let my words be few.

Jesus, I am so in love with You.

 

The simplest of all love songs

I want to bring to You,

So I’ll let my words be few.

Jesus, I am so in love with You.

 

And I’ll stand in awe of You.

Yes, I’ll stand in awe of You,

And I’ll let my words be few.

Jesus, I am so in love with You.

Beth Redman | Matt Redman

© 2000 Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

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