God spoke to the prophet Jeremiah:
“…if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman.” (Jeremiah 15:19)
I could write 52 weeks a year about how weighty God considers our words, because it’s a truth encountered again and again throughout the Bible. You see it in the Psalms and the Proverbs, in the prophets and the epistles, and certainly in the gospels. What you say matters.
With every conversation, with every communication, we are called to speak Worthy Words … words that contain the empowering truth — truth based on faith in his promises.
Our tendency, all too often, is to drone on and on about the badness of a particular problem, how everything is coming undone, how nothing is getting better … and woe is me, because it’s not my fault.
Do you know what such talk can be called?
Worthless words. It’s speech that has no value at all.
We must remember that we are called to speak more than merely the partial truth. We are called to speak the empowering truth.
There’s a difference between the two.
The partial truth may be that this or that situation is a mess. Of course, anyone can see it and anyone can say it. The empowering truth, however, is that God can turn this mess into a masterpiece.
The partial truth may be that someone you know has made a myriad of mistakes, and now they are paying the price. The empowering truth is that God can restore their life, just as he has restored your life, and he can redeem any situation — because his great is greater than our sin.
Speaking the empowering truth means more than merely analyzing the way things are. It means that, through faith, we proclaim what God can do.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)
Conversations (and sermons) that build others up and benefit those who listen — these are the worthy words that God spoke about to Jeremiah.
And when you fill your conversation with worthy words, his promise applies to you, too: “You will be my spokesman.”
If you have developed a pattern of speaking only what you feel, and saying only what your cynicism allows you to see … now is a good time to break the habit and start speaking words of faith.
It’s not that you’ll never call a situation dire, because dire happens, as we all know. It’s that you’ll learn to say: “This situation may not be good, but I know that God has the power to turn it around. He will change me, he will change you, he will change this circumstance, so that we will experience his glory in a new way.”
Is there someone you know … someone you care about deeply … who needs to hear the empowering truth today?