Jill Jarrell Newsome
Words & Actions
Growing up, Momma always told me, “pretty is as pretty does.” In a movie, recently, I noticed the mean character was unattractive. As the story progressed, this man’s ways changed and he started looking more attractive. By the end of the movie this nice man was handsome! When my husband turns to me, with love in his eyes, and kind words on his lips, he is the most handsome man on earth. Handsome is as handsome does! Kind words can turn things around!
My pastor stepped on my toes when he shared John Wesley's 3 simple rules to voting which was written over 200 years ago. I definitely think they apply today!
1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy.
2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against.
3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side." I do not know anyone who cannot learn from that!
The first thing we learn about the power of Words is in Genesis. Genesis 1: 3, "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light." Those are powerful words! God created light with His words! Through that chapter, we see that everything that God creates is with His words. He spoke these things into existence! We also saw Him speak death in Matthew 21: 18-19, "Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, 'May you never bear fruit again!' Immediately the tree withered." Words can have the power to create or destroy!
Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Our words have power to build up or tear down or to bless or curse. If we keep reading that verse we realize that we will reap the consequences of what we say. Even though the tongue is so small it is compared to a sword. Proverbs 12: 18, "There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health." I love this verse because I have been trying to speak life into different areas of my life. When I was sick, I spoke of being healed and I believe that promotes health.
James 3: 5, "Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark." Words can destroy or build up.
I think of the lyrics to "Pass It On". "It only takes a spark to get a fire going, And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing; That's how it is with God's Love, Once you've experienced it, You spread the love to everyone You want to pass it on." We have choices to make constantly and one is whether we are going to use our words for life or death. Psalm 1: 6, “For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.” As my pastor said, the harvest we need to be producing are the fruits of the spirit!
By the end of this sentence this moment is gone forever. Once an action has been done, it is done. Once a hurtful word has been said, it cannot be taken back. If we have grudges, grievances, differences or resentment, let's take them to Jesus and ask Him to take them away. He can do that. And God's grace will allow us to redo and take a step toward making our words more pleasing to God. Let's accept Jesus' forgiveness for our own wrongs and extend forgiveness to those who have hurt us. Ephesians 4: 32, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
Tony Dungy said, "Today we are a divided country, and Satan is laughing at us because that is exactly what he wants. Dysfunction, mistrust and hatred help his kingdom flourish. We have to realize we are not fighting against other people. We are fighting against Satan and his kingdom of spiritual darkness." And as we move on, during these stressful times, let's remember Proverbs 16: 24, "Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Help us to let the world know, by our actions, that we belong to You, God! At the end of our sermon, my pastor thanked God for continuing to make something beautiful out of all of our messes, strife and confusion. Help us to let the world know, by our actions, that we belong to You!