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home : religion : religion January 19, 2019

1/6/2019 12:14:00 AM
Words Matter
Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is  10% what happens to you and  90% how you react to it.'

Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is 
10% what happens to you and 
90% how you react to it.'

Rev. Susan Smith Walker
Emanuel Reformed Church

This week in Bible Study we were sharing some of our favorite scriptures and how they would lead us in the New Year. It was interesting to see a theme develop as we shared passages and talked about why we chose them. Quite a few focused on our inner motives and wanting greater self control over the things we say to other people because our words matter. The old saying that “Sticks and stones maybe break my bones but words can never harm me” is not true. The things we say can hurt others deeply and leave us with regret for having said them. Jesus said that the condition of our heart determines what comes out of our mouth.

Luke 6:43-45
43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

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The idea that our speech flows from our heart is repeated in Psalm 19:14

Psalm 19:14
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

From these passages we can see that if we want to have greater self control over the things we say, we must start with our heart and what is in it.

James Allen in his classic book “As A Man Thinketh” said “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he’ not only embraces the whole of a man’s being, but is so comprehensive as to reach out to every condition and circumstance of his life. A person is literally what he thinks, his character being the sum of all his thoughts”.

For the New Year if we want to be more like Christ in our conversations with others we need to look within first and see the condition of our heart. What are we thinking about? Are our thoughts pleasing to God and in His will? Do we have spiritual integrity in our life? Does who we are in our thought life on the inside line up with who we want to be and how we want to act on the outside? How can we bring the meditations of our heart closer to God and the things of God?

Accept responsibility for your thoughts and turn them over to Christ. Ask God to give you the mind of Christ and pray before you speak so your words can bring life and not death. Fast forward and see the effects of what you are about to say. Will you hurt someone and regret these words later? Be silent if your thoughts are not Christ-like because Jesus said out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, and you may regret it later. It can be very hard to not say anything. However, many times we would be better off if we kept our thoughts inside until God gets our heart right so our words will be right - because they matter.

Rev. Walker is the pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church

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