Use Your Words

As the superstar Christian that I am, I got three sermons in today. For those of you not accustomed to my sharp sarcasm, let me be clear, I’m not a superstar Christian, and I felt a wave of conviction strongest from the first one I listened to this morning.

Tbh, I’m more inclined to link to Matt’s sermon or even my dad’s instead of writing anything that might fall short. But here I am, doing my best, to point people to Jesus. To help people love God and love others better. My lunch conversation probably added to my hesitation and conviction to speak on purpose today.

You see, Matt’s sermon this morning was on the first half of James 3 – all that tongue stuff. And I might say something that’s not perfect, but here I go doing my best to represent Matt well as well as build on his beautiful sermon and point more people to Jesus. Matt presented a logical conclusion that we should be more careful about our mean words to prevent damage and then went on to talk about the power of our positive words… Backing it up, though, because the real hammer of Matt’s sermon was right at the start. His hook was to ask the congregation, “Have you ever been hurt by someone’s mean words?” and once he got everyone to nod or think of an example or two, he brought up how we each individually have also hurt people with our words and we have a responsibility to think about and use our words carefully.

My dad’s Father’s Day sermon in America was about his mom. He challenged his listeners to think about the ripple effect of the positive actions living out Gospel values can have generations into the future. As he described my grandma who died in my infancy opening her home and hosting anyone who needed a meal or a cup of tea or a listening ear in her home, I thought of my table where countless students and friends have come through to encounter Jesus in a place I’m honoured to host.

Matt’s conclusion was about challenging listeners to put out fires from their tongues, to intentionally build others up, and to point them towards Jesus. As I go into my next week completely done with work, I recognise that I have unknown encounters waiting for me where I hope to encourage others, to be responsible with my words, and to point people to Jesus.

That’s what I’ve got for you right now, and instead of trying to eke out any other good words, I’m going to pray those were enough for today before getting ready to watch a thunderstorm (hopefully) with tea and a friend. I also pray that our conversation with build each other up and point each other to Jesus too.

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