Posted by: William | December 19, 2007

A Spark in the Forest

            I’ve been thinking the past two days about words; my words most specifically. Compared to all that is written in scripture about the purposeful careful use of words, I think I give them really very little thought. Ephesians 4:29 seems to sum it up, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” This verse seems to most usually be used as arguments against using swear words, but that seems to me a little bit flimsy. What really stands out I think is, “but only such a word as is good for edification.” What an intense thing to say. How much does that cut out of my speech? Probably most of it.

            That’s what I’ve been thinking of over the past couple of days, the weight of my words. Matthew 12:36-37 says “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Not concerning ourselves too much with the specifics of what words those verses are describing, the point is clear: Words are important. By my actions and choice of words a lot of times it doesn’t really look like I know that; or at least believe it. I think most frequently, my words are like daggers that cut and wound; but by the grace and presence of the Lord, my words could be healing.

            I’m becoming increasingly convinced that there is nothing worth doing that does not cause us, in some way, to press more deeply into the Lord. For the first time, I think that mindset may be penetrating my speech. “If the tongue is set on fire here,” writes Ralph Venning, “how much more so in the fires of hell!” I long for my speech to be reformed so that everything I say would be intended to encourage and edify—by the grace of God those words may actually work. I long to shed that part of my speech that only stands to uphold my pride and precious self-image. Words that do not edify are worse than no words at all. By the Spirit, I would like to see those words for what they are before I speak them.



  1. Good word,brother. What great journey you embark upon when the Lord empowers you to fast your words…can’t do it by the flesh…when He places that guard over your mouth it is to get you to the place to where when you pray and when you speak …your words do not return void…no they go forth and accomplish that for which they were sent forth to this we see the power of God made manifest in His people…Remember Isaiah’s woeful cry…I am of a people of unclean lips….Take the coal and cleanse our lips..purify that which proceeds out of our mouths that we can be useful in the bringing forth of your kingdom come. Can you hear him ask…who can I send? we know the script, but how will we reply?

  2. Good thoughts. Also, don’t overlook just simply not saying anything at all…

    “I am unworthy — how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer — twice, but I will say no more.” – Job

    “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” – St. Francis of Assisi


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