I’ve been increasingly convinced that every word we speak matters.
In early 2016, our family started focusing on Ephesians 4:29: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
It’s nearly two years later, and we’re still working on it EVERY DAY. This is hard! It’s hard to speak words of kindness and grace, building others up instead of tearing them down. Especially for those we live with every day, who see our grumpiest, meanest, angriest moods. It’s hard to stop our tongues from spewing venom when we feel attacked or unfairly treated. (Have you ever read James chapter 3?)
And these are just words we’re speaking to and about human beings.
Even more important, we must speak true words about God.
I sat under someone’s teaching recently who was overly committed to her analogy. Friends, analogies have limits. Please, PLEASE, if you ever speak about God – remain more committed to His Word than to your analogy. In the beginning, her word picture made sense, but as the talk went on, she started saying things about God that, at best, didn’t make sense, and, at worst, lied about Him.
“God never leaves an equation unbalanced.”
Please don’t speak about God unless you’re going to say things about Him that His word verifies are true.
In our culture, we are often tempted to overstate things…And honestly, we cannot overstate God’s unchanging character: His love, His patience with us, His sacrifice, etc, etc. Those things are more vast than we could ever describe.
But choose your words carefully, lest you mislead others and cause them to believe lies about God. What a huge responsibility we all bear.
The easiest way to speak truth about God is through His own Words about Himself:
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Psalm 103:8
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17
And one of my personal favorites:
“Everything in the heavens and earth is Yours, Oh Lord, and this is Your kingdom. We adore You as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone, and You are the ruler of all mankind; Your hand controls power and might, and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength.” I Chronicles 29:11-12
May God keep our mouths shut when we’re about to utter wrong words, and open when He gives us words of grace and truth to speak.