"Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.” Matthew 12:35-37 The Message
I ran across these words today and it made me stop and think. They made me stop and evaluate the words that I have spoken lately. Have I been kind? Have I been honest? Have I been gossiping? Have I spoken in anger or in an unkind tone? Have I been speaking words of encouragement when encouragement was needed? Speaking of words of love, when love was needed? Even words of accountability when accountability was needed? Have I been critical when I should have been forbearing? Do I speak the Christian language when I hang out with my Christian friends or when I'm at church, yet when I am at work, or home, or anywhere else, do I have a whole different language?
Then God brought my thought life into mind. Words are not always spoken you know. A major part of our words are inside, in our minds and spirits. What words have I been speaking there? Have I been complaining or have I been thankful? Have I been envious or have I been grateful for what I do have? Have I been having private conversations with myself about someone and I should actually be speaking to them instead? Have I been harboring hurts, disappointments, when I should be releasing them to God?
How about the written word? Have I written notes of encouragement? Notes of love? When I Facebook, when I email, when I twitter--are the words I post for all the world to see worthy of my walk? Would I even want the people reading them to know that I am a Christian? Would I post those same words or thoughts if I was twittering, Face-booking or emailing God? I don't know about you, but there are times when something that I see on Facebook or in an email can be perceived, at least by me, as rude or alarming. When I ask about the sender about it, the most common response is--it's just an post. It's just an email. But is it truly?
Words are powerful. They are one of the most powerful, awesome gifts that God has given us. We need to use it for His glory. To build His kingdom. That doesn't mean that we only say sugar-sweet, marshmellowy, gooey words. No. Our Lord wants us to speak truth into someone's life and sometimes those words may be hard to hear as well as to speak. But if they are truly from the Lord, it's the spirit they are spoken in, the heart behind it, that makes the difference between a hurtful, harsh word of admonishment and a healing, kind word of admonishment. Does that make sense to you?
How about you? When you read the above verses, what comes into your spirit? Your mind? Is there some embarrassment of words you have spoken, thought or posted in the past? Is there a face that comes to mind that you need to connect with and make amends?
Take a moment today--right now if you can--and pray to your Heavenly Father for strength, discernment and courage to do the right thing. If He brings something or someone to your heart, if you can, take care of it. Do what He leads you to do. Don't put it off. You never know what is around the bend. It may be just to pray a prayer of forgiveness to Him or He may lead you to make a personal contact. Whatever it is, just do it. And then thank Him. Praise Him that He cares so much for you that you doesn't want you to just sit around in your own stinky muck and mire. He wants you to run free and feel the fresh, clean wind of His Holy Spirit just rushing over you. You are free, free indeed!
"The Lord and the Spirit are one and the same, and the Lord’s Spirit sets us free." 2 Corinthians 3:17 CEV