This past Sunday at Southland the sermon was on Matthew 7:1-5:
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
First, I definitely have some large planks in my own eyes, so I am not trying to preach at anyone. I definitely don’t have the right to. I just want to humbly share with you what I was left with. The Word is a two-edged sword, but for today, let’s use that sword as a chisel, chisel whittling away at the planks in our eyes.
When I read this passage, I see it as twofold: your thoughts and your words. To truly transform either of those things God’s word needs to sink into our hearts. But for this post, I am going to focus on the second aspect- our words. Our words have power. Think about it. A good speaker can spur thousands into action with one sentence. A mom can stop a child in their tracks with one word. All it takes is two words “I do” to permanently bind your life to someone else’s. Words cannot be unsaid. Words are an entire love language themselves. We take multiple classes throughout our lives on how to appropriately and effectively use words.
I don’t think we really grasp the gravity of what you and I have to say. The Bible says that our words can set the course for things, as if you were the captain of a battleship. According to the Bible our words have more power than the wildfires Smoky the Bear always warned about. A wildfire just killed 19 trained, seasoned, skilled, strong men with ease…. What you have to say can do the same (James 3:1-10).
On the flip side, your words can make some feel sparklier than my wedding ring (you probably have never had the privilege of witnessing this, but the ring Will picked for me says “BEAT THAT!” to Edward Cullen standing in broad daylight)(Prov. 15:4). Perhaps Proverbs sums it up most succinctly and bluntly when it says:
“The tongue has the power of life and death.” – Prov. 18:21
I know that my words need a good dose of TLC, and I don’t think that I am alone in that. I know that I can be sarcastic and harsh. I can be brash, and I speak without thinking 9 times out of 10. If that’s you, I want to challenge you hear the call of Jesus. Hear Him call you to Himself, allow His heart to change yours. As your heart changes, so will your words.
And if, words aren’t a struggle for you- then you can become even more life-breathing. I don’t think that there is a limit to the extent which Jesus can use us as a light, a hope giver, a healer, a good example, a prophet, a warrior, an encourager, a source of joy, and a worshiper. What’s more is Jesus calls us to use our words to bring life to people. Look at the power of Ezekiel’s words over the dry bones. God calls us to be just as powerful with how we use our words.