Bible · Christian · Faith · Grace · Jesus

Sticks & stones

The words of the reckless pierce like swords’ (Proverbs 12:18 NIV)

How reckless are we in our life, and how much of that recklessness is still with us when we talk to someone?

I know that sometimes, well quite often really if I am being honest, I speak first and think later, not out of malice, but sometimes if I sit there and think, I think that people may consider that I am not always being honest, so I just say whatever comes out.

I heard it once told to me, that we should all first ‘put our brain in gear before we open our mouth’ and talk to anyone.

Good advice for many people I think!

But should we ‘sugar coat’ information for people when they ask us, or should we be brutally honest?

How painful are honest words!’ (Job 6:25 NIV).

Well we should really be honest, there is a saying that goes,

Honest as the day is long

In other words, we should always tell the truth, we should be honest all of the day. That does not mean that we do not think before speaking, but always tell the truth.

Telling the truth always can be difficult.

How many men would like to tell their wives that the dress they are wearing looks awful, or how many women would tell their husbands, boyfriends that they are getting a ‘beer belly or worse, going bald?

There are ways to tell the truth, without starting world war 3.

Truthful lips endure forever’ (Proverbs 12:19 NIV).

I am quite honest and frank when I talk to people, which is sometimes not what people want to hear; sometimes they want you to blur the lines, smudge the details, and tell them what they want to hear, but this is not always helpful.

But the tongue of the wise is health’ (Proverbs 12:18 RV1885).

Or as the NIV puts it;

The tongue of the wise brings healing’ (Proverbs 12:18 NIV).

That does not mean that we have to use flowery language, or distort the truth, or say what the person we are talking to wants to hear. What it means is, we have to really listen to whoever we are talking to, and to listen means not to interrupt them; let them finish saying what is on their mind. When they have finished talking, we should measure our response, put our brain in gear, maybe even say a quick prayer, and let the Holy Spirit give us the words that are necessary.

When we are speaking to someone, we have to pray that they will hear what we say. Some people will let you talk to them, and say that they are listening then do whatever they feel like;

but a wise man [or woman] listens to advice’ (Proverbs 12:15 ESV – emphasis mine).

When we speak, we should always do so with the help of God, we should ask for his Spirit to be the voice that we use, that the words we say will come directly from him.

When talking about false prophets, God said through Jeremiah;

They… lead my people astray with their reckless lies’ (Jeremiah 23:32 NIV).

We need to be sensible with our tongue;

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body’ (James 3:6 NIV).

What James was saying is that we use various tools at our disposal, to control certain things (James 3:3-4); we use a bit in a mouth, to control a horse and tell it where we want it to go, and we use a small rudder to steer a large ship to tell it where to go. Both of these things are very small in comparison to what it controls, and so it is with our tongue.

So the tongue is a thing that we need to learn to control.

Your tongue weighs in at approximately, 60 grams if you are woman, and 70 grams if you are a man, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tongue – accessed 23/03/19), and if you look at the average weight within the UK and Wales, using people over the age of 16, a male weighs on average 84 kg, and a female on average weighs in at 69 kg, these were measured in 2009, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_body_weight – accessed 24/03/19).

That means that our tongues weigh less than 1% of our body weight, yet they can destroy peoples’ lives, and we know that;

no human being can tame the tongue’ (James 3:8 ESV).

We need to think about what we say. People can be hurt very easily. Our tongues have no bones, but they can break your heart, and once said, our words cannot be forgotten, only forgiven in time.

Words hurt!

We all know that saying from our childhood;

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’.

That is not true, you only have to look at the news, or read accounts of how young and older people are cyber-bullied.

Words hurt!

Were created on purpose, for a purpose, and our tongue which can hurt so easily, can also praise the creator of the universe;

With our tongue we praise our Lord and Father’ (James 3:9 NIV).

We can be reckless in many ways and in many things, especially when we speak in rash ways, but let us be reckless with our tongue in praising our God.

Let our words recklessly praise our Lord. Let us ‘speak the truth from [their] our heart; whose tongue utters no slander’ (Psalm 15:3 NIV).

Lord, ‘before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely’ (Psalm 139:4 NIV).

Help us to try to tame our words Lord, and help us not to be reckless with our tongues, but with our love, let us recklessly love like Jesus.

Sticks and stones.jpeg

Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me
You have been so, so good to me
Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me
You have been so, so kind to me

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me
You have been so, so good to me
When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me
You have been so, so kind to me

And oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

Reckless Love

Caleb Culver, Cory Asbury, Ran Jackson

downloadFather we thank you for creating us. Help us to look at the way that Jesus spoke, and to guard our tongue against hurting others with words spoken without thought. Help us to ask for your help when in difficult situations where our words may hurt others. Lord you gave your son for us so that we can live in your love, help us to bless and not cures others with our tongues, help us only to only praise you and build others up with our tongues. Help us to be like Job who said, ‘my tongue will utter no lies’ (Job 27:3 NIV).

Amen

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