The Bible talks a lot about the power of speech – the power of the tongue. James reminds us that it is a small rudder but it steers a big ship. (James 3:4) It sets the direction and mode for human interaction in a way that is very powerful. It is like the internet, it can be used for great good but also great evil. In these days of isolation, our tongues have become even more critical. Without human touch and without the capacity to care for others in certain ways, our tongues have become more important catalysts for good. The writer of Proverbs states, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18 NIV). There is much healing that is taking place through avenues like phone calls and FaceTime. I want to encourage you – keep up the good work. Here are some things to encourage us…
Remember to feed the heart as we empower others. As Matthew (Matthew 12:34) alludes, out of our hearts come the words of our mouths. Feed on the word of God; keep Christ close in prayer. May our words be filled with “grace” and love.” Words are to many people a “healing balm.”
Remember that words of “praise” will lift everyone’s spirits. To praise God is to the give Him “thanks and honour” for who He is and what He does. You don’t have to sing to praise God. You can praise God silently in your thoughts or with your tongue, as you voice your thanksgiving and honour. As the old children’s chorus goes “Praise Him, Praise Him all ye little children, God is love, God is love.” Praise God daily – it is a marvelous tool in setting our perspective and practice throughout the day.
Ponder daily the message of “grace.” I know I talk about that word a lot, but I cannot emphasize the importance of what grace means. Grace changes everything! As one Pastor wisely states, “What gives me the most hope every day is God's grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.” My friends, ponder the great love, the great sacrifice, the great faithfulness that comes to us daily in what we call grace. Thank Him for it – live it fully and let it transform our speech.
Albert Einstein was invited to speak at a banquet held in his honour at Swarthmore College. Hundreds of people from all over the country crowded an auditorium to hear what he had to say. When it came time for him to speak, the greatest physicist walked to the lectern, solemnly looked around, and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, I am very sorry, but I have nothing to say." Then he sat down. The audience was in shock. A few seconds later, Einstein got up, walked back to the podium, and spoke again. "In case I have something to say, I will come back and say it." Six months later he wired the president of the college with the message: "Now I have something to say." Another dinner was held, and Einstein made his speech.
Einstein reminds us to make our speech count. As Christians, we are to make our speech count for Jesus. My friends, thank you for how you are doing that these days in our time of isolation. Your words are making a huge difference!
God bless and keep you – Pastor Ralph
P.S. Your words sure encourage me!