Rich in meaning. Richer in emotion. Taken at face value they rarely tell the whole story. Even in these varied passages today we see the power of words in the following ways.
Words can . . .
But, they can also . . .
Each of those words are pulled directly from today’s passages in relation to speech. They really only scratch the surface of the power of words.
Words reflect our heart (Matthew 12:34, and a dozen other passages). They merely give voice to what is already within us. They reveal the content of our hearts, the purity of our motives.
Moses proved with his words and actions that he was not leaving his dilemma fully in God’s plan.
There they are, bellowing with their mouths
with swords in their lips—
for “Who,” they think, “will hear us?” (Psalm 59:7 ESV)
We justify our words, cloaking them in innocence, but their pridefulness and lack of faith, our pridefulness and lack of faith,will surface with time.
2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. (James 3:2 ESV)
It is assumed that we will stumble in our words. I do, daily.
The solution, although it will take us a lifetime to get there, is to meekly seek God’s wisdom. We will recognize His wisdom, as different from the world’s wisdom.
17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:17-18 ESV)
Powerful words to guide and restrain our own words, responses, and teaching.
Lord God, as I see the pride and judgment in my words, I recognize more room for growth, more room for Your holiness to invade my heart and will. Teach me Your way – peace, gentle, reasoning, merciful, impartial, sincere. Let each of those traits control my tongue as evidence that they rule my heart as well. In Jesus Name, Amen.