I teach 5th/6th grade girls on Wednesday nights at my church. It’s an honor to teach the next generation about God’s Word. I have moments during my class where I am teaching them, but I’m also feeling convicted by the lesson. It’s almost like an out of body experience where I am the student and the not the teacher. There are verses that just jump out at me and I am struck again by their truth. I had one of those moments last night as I taught my girls about “Taming the Tongue” (that is our current unit we’re working on). Because I have grown up in church and studied the Bible for school, I feel like I have a lot of head knowledge, but there is a connection where the head knowledge must become heart knowledge. Even the things that I might have learned many years ago, I still need to be remind of today and challenged to live them out better.
Last night we were talking about how our words flow out from our heart. If our hearts are full of goodness than good things will come out. If they are filled with evil, bad things will come out. The focus verse was Matthew 12:33-37. Here is a portion of that passage from the Message: “It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.(Mt.12:35-37).” The NIV puts verse 36 this way, “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”
Even though I’ve known this truth for some time, I was deeply reminded how important my words are. Each one is acounted for. Nothing slips pass God. If I said, He hears it. If I think it, He hears it. I don’t want to be careless with my words. I don’t want to talk just to talk and hear the sound of my own voice. I’m not sure I think enough about the purpose of my words. One of the activities the girls had to do in response to the lesson was create a mission statement for how they wanted their words to reflect them. Here is my mission statement for my words – I want my words to reflect the love of my Savior and be used for His purpose and His glory. I want my words to be encouraging to all who hear. I want my words to strengthen the body of Christ. I want my words to be gentle and humble; may they point to Christ and not to myself.
Today’s reminder is that every word counts… So make the most of them!