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POSTED: April 14, 2007 5:00 a.m.

Last week we talked about the importance of words. We need to be aware of how we use words. They are both able to build up and to tear down.

Gossip and tale bearing are also ways in which words are misused on occasion. The Psalmist wrote concerning this, "LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor" (Psalm 15:1-3). James 1:19 tells us to be, "swift to hear and slow to speak". Even if a thing is true, it should not become a subject of gossip. This obligation is one that is overlooked to many times, leading to abuses of the use of the tongue.

While it is true words can be misused, they do not have to be. Words are that by which souls can be brought to the Lord. In II Kings 5 there is a wonderful example of how just a few words were able to help show God to a nation of people. It is the account of Naaman a captain in the army of Syria, who was a sufferer of leprosy. His wife’s little maid spoke just a few words concerning the prophet of God. After doing as the prophet had told him Naaman made the statement, "…Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel:…" (II Kings 5:15). How many do we speak to about God each day? It may be that ones we would bring to Christ need to hear more words about the subject from us.

Our words may be the only ones listened to by those who do not know God. Satan will put all kinds of excuses before us, to keep us from using our tongues to try and gain the lost.

James and Jude tell us why we must not listen to Satan about this matter. "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins" (James 5:19,20). And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh (Jude 23).

The words we use in our everyday life may cause someone to begin searching for the peace and contentment we have in Christ.

Those same words will help us shine as the lights we are supposed to be (Matt. 5:14-16). When people listen to us, do they know us to be the Lords servant by how we speak? Or do they wonder how we call ourselves a Christian?

They may be "Just Words" but so much depends upon them.

 

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