Jeremiah 46:27-28 Do not fear or be dismayed…I will save you from afar…you shall return, have rest, and be at ease…
II Peter 1:5-8 …add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What is the hope of a Christian? To be like Christ, for sure. To be with Christ at the end of this life, a certainty. But what if the words that we speak show that the condition of our hear is far from the brotherly kindness and ultimate love portrayed by Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection? When we walk in distress and with an unquiet heart, there is no peace or joy even in the knowledge of Christ. We quickly find ourselves out of control in our daily dealings with the very people that God puts in our lives to learn godliness. And the superficial band aids we place over the needs of our brothers and sisters becomes a barrier not just to their healing, but to offering the greatest of godly virtues – love.
Recently, I was reminded of these things while participating in several gatherings with various groups. I realized that the sudden hearing loss that I now have in one ear has made it difficult to listen to the words of others. While people were laughing or when several were talking at the same time, my comprehension plummeted. I tried to focus on one or two, but until there was only one speaker at a time, the words become a jumbled mess. My understanding was disjointed, but I picked up nonverbals of negativity, frivolity, ambition, weariness, and silent pain. At first I was merely frustrated, but listening with my eyes reminded me of the powerful impact of words. How can I become be a Christ bearer without being mindful of my words? For I believe the impact of our words are the evidence of our fruit. Watch how others respond or react to what you say, not with a thought toward being understood or appreciated, but with a thought about whether or not brotherly kindness and love were received.
Breathing in the words; utterances you speak
Flippantly, solemnly, disrespectfully
Filling buckets with grit, gems, grains of truth
Welcoming, haunting, shocking
Squeezing past the defenses; gibberish I speak
Purposefully, randomly, erroneously
Shaping memories like wet clay with heavy hands
Brooding, disciplining, accepting
Breathing out the words; what we speak
Irreverently, uncontrollably, plainly
Dispelling myths with honesty, lies, good intentions
Hoping, expecting, demanding
As long as I’m still breathing.