Radio and television news feels like a tsunami constantly washing over and engulfing me in its path. I recently noticed how brief, yet charged, sound-bites are.
Much of what we hear today is political rhetoric that usually is accusatory in nature and deliberately skews the truth. Those who hear these bits of information often accept them as fact because they have a voice of authority behind them. How many times do we accept these sound-bites as truth and never check the facts? This type of thing goes on every day even among friends, family, co-workers, schoolmates, etc. Lives have been destroyed, families have been divided and even nations plunged into conflict over careless words.
Words are something we use every day. Some use more words than others. I've come up with something I call "word-bites," which are simply descriptive words. Let's use God's Word, the Bible, as an example. Word-bites I'd use to describe the Bible are "true," "clear" and "guide." The Bible is true, clear and guides me in every aspect of life.
I try always to speak words that honor God. Having experienced, like so many, the pain of sarcasm, anger and the like, I always try to filter what I say with the Holy Spirit's guidance. I pray daily for a double portion of wisdom and for God to guide my conversations for His glory.
Here are "word-bites" that often bless me - love, grace, forgiveness and fellowship. One of my favorite Bible verses, which I've used many times in this opinion piece, is Psalm 19:14: "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."
Chapter 3 in the New Testament book of James has a lot to say about words and how we use our tongues. James says "no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." What an indictment.
However, James also tells us to implore heavenly wisdom for our conduct, first and foremost, because it is "pure." He also says to rely on heavenly wisdom because it is "peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." What wonderful words to take to heart.
So let me encourage us, California Southern Baptists, to continue sharing the Word of Life to those around us, and pray for heavenly wisdom so the words we use will find receptive hearts that will enlarge the Kingdom of God.