Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Words and The Word

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Proverbs 25:11

I've been thinking about my words, both written and spoken. My pastor recently completed a sermon series on Job. Although I had read the book several times before, I winced when I listened to the advice from Job's would-be comforters. They probably meant well. They probably wanted to help him see the light. But boy were they insensitive and clueless. They also have the distinction of having their counsel preserved on the pages of the Bible as a glaring example of words un-fitly spoken.

Since those sermons, I've had a harder time writing because there's a new awareness of the weight of my words no matter how little my sphere of influence. Have I inadvertently torn down rather than built up? Caused confusion rather than conveyed truth? Have my words been more about me, myself, and I or about Christ? And have they been about the Christ revealed in the Word of God or a "Christ" defined by my experience?

As I've prayed and pondered, there's been conviction but encouragement as well. Forgiveness is available not only for sins of thought and deed but for every careless and idle word. Thank God that "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."(1 John 1:9)

Given that "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matt. 12:34), the best way to guard what comes out is to be careful of what goes in, and what is better than consistently feeding on the Scriptures? But the point of this diet is more than becoming a Bible Answer Ma'am™. The Holy Spirit uses the words He has authored to transform the source of our words - the mind and heart. His Word has the power to dismantle our excuses, expose our motives, and discern our thoughts and intentions (Heb. 4:12). His Word enlightens our ignorance and is "able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." (2 Tim. 3:15). And by grace, our words can give grace to those who hear. (Eph. 4:29)

So my prayer is...
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes! Psalm 119:10-12
Believing that...
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 
The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. Psalm 119:130 KJV 


  1. I know you said it was like pulling teeth, but the extraction went very well in the end. Good reminders. I understand what you mean about feeling the weight of my words. Thanks for this, Persis.

  2. Thank you for this, Persis. I've found that when I am the most "prickly" - grouchy, discontented, harsh, and all around not very nice to be around - it's almost always because I have neglected my time in the Word.

  3. Such good words Persis. I feel this weight so often that I sometimes think I'd be better off to do what Job did in the end and - "place my hand over my mouth."