Matthew 12:35-37 (NASB) The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. 36 But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
The spoken word is a powerful thing. It has the power to build up or the power to destroy. It has the power to spread the gospel message or to drive people from the good news. How do you use your words?
The other day, I had the opportunity to move out of the Holy Spirit’s way and disarm hostility with the gospel message of God’s love for me, you and every man woman and child.
A young man, a person I had never met or ever had any contact, decided to curse at me via messenger. His anger was directed at another and thus, misdirected. I could have chosen to ignore it, delete it and move on, but felt the urging of the Holy Spirit to address it. I asked why he was angry at someone he’d never met. He explained that just because he didn’t know someone, didn’t mean that he could be angry at them for something he believed they had done. He said, “that’s just human nature.” Rather than try to change his mind on the circumstances that lead to his anger, I agreed with him. I said, “you’re right, that is the fallen nature of man.” I asked him, what good does that serve to his life or example it leaves on those in the world around him? “Jesus”, I said, “had more right than any to be angry and vengeful towards others, but chose not to. He exemplified the antithesis to it by going to the cross and begging His Father to forgive the very ones who had beaten Him and nailed Him to the cross to die. He advocated for them and every man, woman and child who had a hand, then and still today, in driving in the nail. That includes me and it includes each and every one of you. He chose love, He chose grace upon grace upon grace. If anyone could claim justification for anger and vengeance, it was Him. He chose love. If you can’t allow yourself to let go of anger at someone you don’t even know, have never met, what kind of life can you lead?”
He replied, “you are right. I admire your way of thinking.” I thanked him for the conversation, told him that I hope it helped him out in some way, as it certainly had helped me, wished blessings to him and his and said good night.
Only the power found in the gospel message could alter the course of that interaction 180 degrees. It got me thinking about all the times that I chose to respond in the “justified” manner only to see grenades get lobbed and the situation turn from bad, to worse, to nuclear, all because of the words I elected to flow from my mouth, and the toxicity I allowed to permeate my heart.
How many situations could have been avoided or diverted if we chose our words more carefully? How many relationships would be mended if we elected to listen to the urging of the Holy Spirit, chose grace and love over anger and retribution? I can think of more than I can count in mere moments. Have a blessed weekend.
Hebrews 10:24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,