Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Words Reveal Our Hearts

Chuckle: Mother: “Tommy, why did you kick your sister in the stomach?  Tommy:  “I couldn’t help it.  She turned around too quick!”   
Quote:  “Good words are worth much, and cost little.”  --George Herbert
    “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men (people), who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing”  (James 3:9-10 NIV). 
By and large, each of us is the product of our childhood environment and upbringing.  If we grew up in a home and community where people of a different races or ethnicity were looked down upon and demeaned by our parents, or others with whom we associated, prejudicial feelings may have become deeply rooted in our hearts and minds.  If so, it may be difficult for us to change our attitude and begin accepting all people and recognizing that God loves them in the same way He loves us. 
   “If you, . . . ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers”  (James 2:8-9 NIV).  
Who we really are will be revealed by the words we speak.  Harboring prejudices, biases and favoritisms may result in the habitual use of disrespectful and hurtful language.  We may try to convince others that we have no prejudices, but our words will communicate otherwise.  It could be that the use of prejudicial and unkind words has become a permanent part of a person’s everyday vocabulary.  If so, that person may be using offensive language without even realizing the damage he or she is inflicting on others.  But make no mistake, our words reveal our true identity.
Even if we don’t intend to hurt anyone by what we say, our manner of speaking can do irreparable harm to our relationships with other people.  If you make disparaging remarks about a specific individual, obviously, your relationships with that person will be damaged.  However, your words may also be offensive to others who do not share your racial or ethnic prejudices and do not approve of racially charged language.
If we truly know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, our desire will be to see all people through His eyes and love everyone as He loves them.  If we love as Jesus loves, we, with God’s help, will make a determined effort to treat everyone with the same love, courtesy, and respect.  We will intentionally guard our tongues and evaluate every word we utter to be sure we are honoring our Lord and edifying other people.  If we harbor prejudicial feelings, sooner or later our words will reveal the depth of those feelings.
    “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless”  (James 2:1 NIV).
The good news is that God wants to change us from the inside out.  When our hearts have been purified by the Holy Spirit, our views of others will change and so will our words.

Love, Jerry & Dotse 


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