As we read through the four Gospels, we find a beautiful mosaic of Jesus’ life story from his humble birth in Bethlehem, to his teachings and miracles, to his death and resurrection. Jesus’ words from The Sermon on the Mount (or the Sermon on the Plain) as well as over 40 parables echo through the ages to teach and to inspire. And, for me, I find that some of the most memorable events of his teaching and ministry to those around him are brought into view in my mind by only a few words.
Peace be still… Lazarus come out… Rise take up your pallet and walk… Go and sin no more… What do you want me to do for you? From the calming of the waves in the sea of Galilee, to the healing of Lazarus and the man who was lame, to the woman caught in adultery, Jesus brought peace, healing, wholeness and redemption through his spoken word. This is a reminder to me of the power of words in our own lives to build up—or to destroy. Scripture is replete with admonitions to guard the words that we use. (I found 31 scriptures that deal with our words.) See just a sampling below:
Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.
Psalm 141:3, NIV
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
Proverbs 15:2, ESV
And from Jesus in Matthew 12:34-37 we hear: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person brings good things out of a good treasure, and the evil person brings evil things out of an evil treasure. I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
What words will you use today? Will they be words of love and grace that build up and heal those around you or words that break down and destroy?
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14, KJV