Watching Our Words

Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.

~Proverbs 17:27

 

You know how to be wise?  Slow down.  Stop talking.  Say what you need to and then stop.  Consider how James describes communication and its effect on the heart:

 

19  Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

~ James 1:19-20

 

If you find that people don’t like speaking to you, perhaps its because you haven’t been hearing them out.   James says be quick to hear.  That means being around people with the intention of listening to them.  Other peoples words are not a springboard to your own.

Instead, listen to new the other person and then very carefully speak out a response.  If not, tempers can flare and dampen the hope of the gospel.  James says to avoid this entirely.  Slow yourself down, listen, and then speak.  Even if what the other person is saying is inflammatory or obviously wrong, hear them out.  Then speak.  And yet Jesus takes the matter even higher:

 

33  Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. 34  You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35  The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. ~ Matt 12:33-37

 

You speak what’s inside of you.  And what you say will be presented during judgment.  All of it.  Every careless word.  WOW!  How terrifying is that?  Let’s make it simpler.  If all of your words for last week were covered in a news report on CNN.com, how well would you fare?  The good news is that someone has fared well in our place.

 

For our sake he made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. ~ 2 Cor 5:21

 

And that’s all you need.  No fear of judgment.  Grace liberates you from needing to perform for other people because you already have the Ultimate’s approval.  Grace snatches you from anger because in reverent fear, you know that you can’t build a kingdom of your own.  You seek the Kingdom of God!  How truly blessed are we to be the righteousness of God in Christ!  Reader, preach this to yourself.  Every moment.  Slowly.  He did this all for our sake.

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3 Responses to “Watching Our Words”

  1. ‘The good news is that someone has fared well in our place.’

    Like aloe on a sunburn.

  2. Good words.

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