Beloved Brothers and Sisters
I wonder, how much effort to we give on any given day to making sure the words we say, or write, are words fitting to be said or written? How carefully do we consider what we are about to say before we actually say it? Do we ever even give it much thought?
Scripture is clear about how much care we should take with our words. Our speech should always be marked by grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that we will know how to respond to anyone (Col 4:6). We are to put aside abusive speech; our communication must not be tainted by wrath, malice, slander, and abuse (Col 3:8). Each and every word we speak to one another, even those necessary words of rebuke or correction, are to be good for edification (Eph 4:29).
What is the danger in being careless with our words, even in those things where no harm is meant? James tells us that if the tongue is controlled, the whole body is controlled as well; just as the bit controls the horse, the rudder the ship (Jas 3:2-5). A careless word can set afire all kinds of destructive and hard to repair conflicts; as a spark sets a mighty forest ablaze, so a careless word can cause untold damage (Jas 3:5-6).
We all know people, we have a number of them in our midst, who seem to have their tongues well disciplined; people who we can not recall a time when a word was spoken carelessly or destructively. We may be tempted to think that it is just easier for them than it is for us, but in truth a steady flow of careful and edifying speech is not the result of chance, but of faithful dedication and care.
Remember, what comes from our lips is but the overflow of what is in our hearts. If our hearts are unguarded and careless, so will be our speech; if our hearts are filled with skepticism and anger, so will be our speech; if our hearts are filled with grace, mercy, and love, so will be our speech.
None of us have this mastered, but we are fooling ourselves if we think that this isn’t important. What is in our hearts will spill forth from our lips, often at the worst times and to devastating results. Trying to remove certain words or phrases from our vocabulary will not fix the problem; no matter how “clean” our words seem, a spiteful heart will find a way to destroy even with kindness.
I write all this not as a way of rebuke, but a way of encouragement. Careless words destroy, but careful, Spirit filled words bring life. Be careful with your heart, and be careful with your words. Don’t just settle for not setting the forest ablaze, seek that we might build up and encourage; by God’s grace our words will be life-giving words.
In Case You Missed It
This past Sunday we began a three-part (estimated as of this moment) look at how the glory is maximized for the Triune God, and His people, through suffering. Listen to part 1, the glory of God the Father from Hebrews 2:10, here. Take time to meditate and to ask God to reveal His sovereign plan for suffering to you as we continue to look at this very difficult, yet immensely important, subject.
Scripture Reading and Prayer
In order to promote unity of heart and mind among us, we are encouraging as many as are willing to join with us in reading through the entire Bible this year together, as well as devoting specific Scriptures to prayer each day. It is our prayer that as we meditate and pray over the same Scriptures each day, that God will work in our midst to bind us to one another, and to give us a common vision for the ministry here in Maynardville. Prayerfully consider joining with us in this endeavor, and we will see how God will work in our midst.
Our Scriptures to pray over this week are:
- Thur (3/6): Eph 3:14-21
- Fri (3/7): Gal 5:16-25
- Sat (3/8): Col 1:9-12
- Sun (3/9): Phil 3:7-11
- Mon (3/10): Matt 22:37-39
- Tue (3/11): Jn 7:38
- Wed (3/12): Jn 4:23-24
- Thur (3/13): Ps 37:4; Ps 1:2; 16:11
Our Scripture reading schedule for the week is:
- Thur (3/6): Num 6:1-7:89; Mk 12:38-13:13; Ps 49:1-20; Pr 10:27-28
- Fri (3/7): Num 8:1-9:23; Mk 13:14-37; Ps 50:1-23; Pr 10:29-30
- Sat (3/8): Num 10:1-11:23; Mk 14:1-21; Ps 51:1-19; Pr 10:31-32
- Sun (3/9): Num 11:24-13:33; Mk 14:22-52; Ps 52:1-9; Pr 11:1-3
- Mon (3/10): Num 14:1-15:16; Mk 14:53-72; Ps 53:1-6; Pr 11:4
- Tue (3/11): Num 15:17-16:40; Mk 15:1-47; Ps 54:1-7; Pr 11:5-6
- Wed (3/12): Num 16:41-18:32; Mk 16:1-20; Ps 55:1-23; Pr 11:7
- Thur (3/13): Num 19:1-20:29; Lk 1:1-25; Ps 56:1-13; Pr 11:8
With Love and Affection in Christ,