Why Words Are Far More Dangerous Than Sticks and Stones

July 13, 2016

Matthew 12:29-37

29 “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house.

30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

CONSIDER THIS

So much to deal with in today’s text we can’t possibly cover it. I think we may be best served to focus in on the last sentence.

For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Words matter. They matter far more than we realize. Words create worlds and words can destroy them. Many want to believe the measure of all things is action but it is most typically our words which precede our actions. A person’s word is adjudged to be good or bad based on their actions that back it up. God’s Word is God’s bond. It is particularly interesting in light of the notion that Jesus is the embodied Word of God. To be a follower of Jesus means becoming like him in the way we use words.

Some years ago I came across a recovery concept known as, “The Four Agreements.” The particular book I read, by Don Miguel Ruiz, is not a “Christian” book though it definitely holds Christian wisdom, and with that caveat, I highly recommend it. The first of the four agreements is, “Be impeccable with your word.” He points out that the word impeccable comes from the Latin words “im” which means without and pecatus, which means sin. To be impeccable with your word is to be without sin in what we speak. It is a profound challenge, especially in light of this word from today’s text:

But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.

I can be so casual and loose with my speech. My words expose me. It brings to mind a related word from Brother Paul to the Ephesian Christians.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. EPHESIANs 4:29

It comes back down to the issue of who we are becoming. Our words will clearly represent the kind of person we are becoming.  For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

It’s why the paramount question we must graciously ask one another in our discipleship is this one: Who does Jesus want us to become?
Daily Text MATTHEW 07-13-16

THE QUESTIONS

1. I want to challenge us to do a word audit. For the next three days I want us to keep a close watch on our words– all of them. This is not about judging or shaming ourselves but becoming brutally honest for the sake of our own good and the good of others. In good Dr. Pepper fashion, let’s do a check in at 10, 2 and 4 every day and once more before turning in for the night.

2. How did our words build others up? How did our words benefit those who heard them? How did our words hurt the reputations of others? Did our words tend to create or tear down?

3. What do we learn about our innermost self from our words?

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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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