“Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so your words may give grace to those who hear.” What a strange idea in our world today. We use words to overpower, to gain praise and gain riches, to get our way, and to have our voice heard. What if our words were more for the benefit of others? Are my words useful for building up, for meeting other’s needs, for giving grace? Why or why not? Lord hear our prayer: let nothing evil come out…Amen.
“the Gospel came to you not in word only..but in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with full conviction…” Much Christianity these days tends to focus upon right words, right answers and catch phrases; Paul speaks here of the Thessalonian believers receiving and welcoming God’s saving work in their lives in a manner that transcends words alone. The words “power, Holy Spirit, and full conviction” imply full involvement of both God’s initiation and human response. Does my life show the power of the Holy Spirit and my full engagement? – Holy Spirit you are welcome in my life. Amen.
“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” The content and attitude of our hearts are revealed through what comes out of our mouth both in words and songs. What are you talking about these days? What are you singing about? How does this reflect your heart? Lord, so much noise and so many words each day; let my mouth be filled with talk and songs about You.
“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” James is very pointed. There are deceived religious people and there are religious people with worthless religion. Why would this assessment focus so much on control of one’s mouth, language, and words? What do our “words” reveal about us? Help us O Lord, to be slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to anger. Amen.