Wednesday, September 26, 2018

"The Waves of Your Words"

I love to vacation at the beach. My favorite time of day is late afternoon when the crowd has cleared away and I can sit at the shore and read my favorite book. Sometimes I get distracted and I begin to make drip castles in the sand. A drip castle is made from very wet sand and is dripped layer upon layer to create a unique masterpiece. Inevitably about the time I finish my creation, a wave reaches my location and wipes away all my hard work. The waves before would threaten to do the same but not succeed, but this one, this one destroys my creation and I must start from the bottom and build it up once again. Have you ever noticed that negative words are much like waves. They continue to threaten over and over again until they finally reach the intended target and destruction occurs. Maybe you didn't mean for the target to ever hear what you said, but it makes its way to them nonetheless. Maybe through the chain of what the Bible says are gossips or maybe it is overheard from a hallway, from around a corner or one aisle over at Walmart. "Oh be careful little mouth what you say." I have recently been on the destruction end of many careless words. They pierce, they hurt and they discourage. Sometimes these words are spoken by sharp tongued individuals who speak before they pray and their insensitive comments pierce like a dart to the very core of your being. Other times they are words spoken out of critical spirits or "harmless" opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, right? Wrong, according to scripture, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29 If you claim the name of Christ this verse applies to you. Is what I am saying helpful? Does it build others up? Does it benefit those who are hearing my voice? If the answer is no then KEEP SILENT. I have been guilty so many times of speaking words that are not helpful and do not build up those around me. The Holy Spirit is so quick to convict me and send me to make right the wrong that I have spoken. I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit living within me and allowing me to say no to sin and yes to Jesus. James 1:26 "Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless." A good test of your heart is to see how quickly the conviction comes when your words are careless. When was the last time you apologized to someone for the hurtful words that came out of your mouth. When was the last time you walked away from a group or called that group out because of the reckless words they were speaking. I understand that we live in a mean and cruel world, but when those who claim the name of Christ are as guilty of hurtful words as those who do not know Christ, it is time for we as believers to practice gentle rebuke. "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this SHOULD NOT BE." James 3:9-10  We as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ should look different, act different and speak different. How will this world ever see the hope and difference that Jesus can make if those of us who claim His name are not set apart? We should be a light in a dark world. Scripture says, "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Colossians 4:6  Our conversations should be a blessing to others. We should enhance the lives of the people around us with the words that we speak. "Lord Jesus, give us the grace and the strength to stand out and be separate from this world. Guard our tongues, Lord Jesus, that we might speak only words that reflect your honor and glory and let us remember that we have the choice to NOT be offended when others wrong us with their actions and words. Allow us to live our lives seeking to please you and you alone. When we seek to please you and you alone, it doesn't matter what others say or think about us. Grant us grace to forgive others when they wrong us and bring quick conviction to our hearts when we wrong others. May we speak with wisdom and may faithful instruction always be on our tongues. For your kingdom's glory. Amen."