What does it mean to let your words be few?
It means for one thing that we should never speak hastily, out of haughtiness, anger or resentment; for once those words are released, they are forever set in motion and can NEVER be brought back.
So let us choose our words wisely!
Words are not just simply sounds caused by air passing through our larynx.
Words have real power
God spoke the world into existence by the power of His words (Hebrews 11:3); and the Bible tells us that we are made in His image in part because of the power we have with words.
Words do more than convey information
The power of our words can actually destroy one’s spirit, even stir up hatred and violence.
They not only exacerbate wounds, but they inflict them directly.
Of all the creatures on this planet, ONLY man has the ability to communicate through the spoken word.
The power to use words is a unique and powerful gift from God.
Our words have the power to destroy and the power to build up (Proverbs 12:6); and the writer of Proverb tells us…
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)
Are we using words to build up people or destroy them?
Are they filled with hate or love, bitterness or blessing, complaining or compliments, lust or love, victory or defeat?
Like tools they can be used to help us reach our goals or to send us spiraling into a deep depression.
Furthermore, our words not only have the power to bring us death or life in this world, but in the next as well.
“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36–37)
Words are so important, that we are going to give an account of what we say when we stand before the Lord Jesus Christ.
The apostle Paul wrote,
“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.”
In this passage, Paul is emphasizing the positive over the negative.
The Greek word translated “unwholesome” means “rotten” or “foul.”
It originally referred to rotten fruit and vegetables.
Being like Christ means we don’t use foul, dirty language.
For some reason, many people today think it is macho or liberating to use vulgar humor, dirty jokes, and foul language, but this kind of talk has no place in the life of a Christian.
“. . . but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” This is reminiscent of his words to the Colossians: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
(Colossians 4:6; see also Colossians 3:16)
There is a remarkable parallel between Ephesians 4:25, lying; Ephesians 4:28, stealing; and Ephesians 4:29, unwholesome talk.
In each case Paul is urging us to be a blessing to those with whom we have daily contact.
Paul is emphasizing that merely refraining from telling lies, stealing, or unwholesome speech is not enough.
The truth is that Christianity is not a mere “don’t” religion.
As followers of Christ we should emulate the example of Jesus whose words were so filled with grace that the multitudes were amazed (Luke 4:22).
Jesus reminds us that the words we speak are actually the overflow of our hearts (Matthew 12:34–35).
When one becomes a Christian, there is an expectancy that a change of speech follows because living for Christ makes a difference in one’s choice of words.
The sinner’s mouth is “full of cursing and bitterness” (Romans 3:14); but when we turn our lives over to Christ, we gladly confess that “Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9–10).
As condemned sinners, our mouths are silenced before the throne of God (Romans 3:19), but, as believers, our mouths are opened to praise and glorify God (Romans 15:6).
Christians are those whose hearts have been changed by the power of God, a change reflected in our words.
Remember, before we were saved, we lived in spiritual death (Ephesians 2:1-3).
Paul describes those who are dead in sin: “Their throats are open graves” (Romans 3:13).
Our words are full of blessing when the heart is full of blessing. So if we fill our hearts with the love of Christ, only truth and purity can come out of our mouths.
Peter tells us,
“In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)
Let the power of our words be used of God to manifest the power of our faith.
Be prepared to give the reason for why we love the Lord—at any time, to anyone.
Our words should demonstrate the power of God’s grace and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
May God enable us to use our words as an instrument of His love and saving grace.
We should also be careful about making rash promises, and the counsel of Scripture is that we let our words be few!
Expanded Bible (EXB)
Be Careful About Making Promises
5 Be careful [Watch your step/feet] when you go to worship at the ·
Temple [house of God].
It is better to listen than to offer foolish sacrifices [or the sacrifice of fools] without even knowing you are doing wrong.
2 Think before you speak [Do not be quick with your mouth],
and be careful about what you say [do not let your heart rush to utter a word] to God.
God is in heaven,
and you are on the earth,
so say only a few words to God [let your words be few].
3 Dreams come from too much worrying [or work],
and too many words come from foolish people.
4 If you make a promise [vow] to God, don’t be slow to keep [delay to fulfill] it.
God is not happy [For there is no pleasure] with fools, so ·give God what you promised [fulfill what you have vowed].
5 It is better not to promise anything than to promise something and not do it [make a vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it; Deut. 23:21; Prov. 20:25; Matt. 23:16–22].
6 Don’t let your words [mouth] cause you [your flesh] to sin, and don’t say to the priest at the Temple [messenger], “I didn’t mean what I promised [It was a mistake].”
If you do, God will [Why should God…?] become angry with your words and will destroy everything you have worked for [the work of your hands].
7 Many useless [1:2] promises [or words] are like so many dreams; they mean nothing.
You should respect [or be afraid of; 5:7; 7:18; 8:12, 13] God.
In the following discourse, we are given some key instructions on how the wisdom of the Bible is to be applied to our life:
by Max Lucado
Situation: The author gives insights on values.
He encourages the reader to use time wisely by making right choices.
Observation: One of the key words in this section is the word “time.”
Solomon said that God has an appropriate time for every activity and for every stage of life.
How we use our time reflects our values and our understanding of our eternal destination.
Inspiration: You have an eternal address fixed in your mind as well.
God has “put eternity in their hearts” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
Down deep you know you are not home yet. So be careful not to act like you are.
Don’t lower the duffel bag too soon.
Would you hang pictures on the wall of a Greyhound bus?
Do you set up a bedroom at the roadside rest stop?
Do you load your king-size bed on a commercial flight?
Would you treat this world like home? It isn’t.
The greatest calamity is not to feel far from home when you are, but to feel right at home when you are not.
Don’t quench, but rather, stir this longing for heaven.
God’s home is a forever home. “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).
My friends Jeff and Carol just adopted two small children. Christopher, the older, is only three, but he knows the difference between Jeff’s house and the foster home from which he came.
He tells all visitors, “This is my forever home.”
Won’t it be great when we say the same? Couldn’t we use a forever home?
This home we’re in won’t last forever. Birthdays remind us of that.
During the writing of this book I turned forty-six. I’m closer to ninety than I am to infancy.
All those things they say about aging are coming true. I’m patting myself less on the back and more under the chin.
I have everything I had twenty years ago, except now it’s all lower.
The other day I tried to straighten out the wrinkles in my socks and found out I wasn’t wearing any.
Aging. It’s no fun. The way we try to avoid it, you’d think we could.
We paint the body, preserve the body, protect the body. And well we should. These bodies are God’s gifts.
We should be responsible. But we should also be realistic.
This body must die so the new body can live.
“What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.
These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever” (1 Corinthians 15:50 NLT).
Aging is God’s idea. It’s one of the ways He keeps us headed homeward.
We can’t change the process, but we can change our attitude. (From Traveling Light by Max Lucado)
Application: Eternity Seems like a long way away for some people. If you’re avoiding thinking about it, start looking at your own mortality.
What does it mean for you to live today in the knowledge that God has set eternity in your heart?
What changes can you make in your lifestyle based on that knowledge?
Exploration: Eternity—Psalm 89:47; 139:24; Isaiah 26:4; John 5:39; Galatians 6:8; 1 Timothy 6:12. Hope is an olive leaf—evidence of dry land after a flood. Proof to the dreamer that dreaming is worth the risk.—Max Lucado (A Love Worth Giving)
The Bible is a very pragmatic book, when it comes to the issues of life; and I think one of the main things that we all should consider, as Christians, is the importance with which the Bible emphasizes of our lining up our individual lives with the directions and precepts we find written therein.
For truly the main goal of all of this and our main purpose in life, is that we put on the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16, Php 2:5), and that we walk in this world and in our ministries as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6)!
So are you ready now to come and join the Adventure, because truly it is the ONLY way to fly!
His name is Jesus Christ!
Don’t you dare leave home without Him, and certainly do not leave this life without Him, without knowing Him and accepting Him as your personal Lord and Savior!
Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!
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