Psalm 15:3 Words Matter

Rattlesnake with tongue

Whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; Psalm 15:3 

All comedy movies usually have one thing in common, though not always, but that is they focus on cutting other people down. People think it is funny to slam another person or make that person look bad.

This also occurs in the public realm of politics. When a person is running for a position, it appears that all most can talk about is how bad the other candidate is. People love to find fault in others or make a false statement about the person to cut him down. It helps them feel better about themselves.

Slandering people is something that occurs in every area of life, school, workplace, homes, and neighborhoods. It can be seen everywhere.

David asked the question of who can live on God’s holy mountain and then proceeds to answer it in this psalm. One of the things a person must not do is slander or cast slurs onto someone else.

Every believer is to love every one and build every one up. They are never to cut someone down. Slander cuts and kills people. It destroys people and their lives, whether true or false. Usually slander is not true.

Sadly this type of action can be seen inside the church. People slam other believers, condemning them quickly and talking bad about them, rather than encouraging them and building them up.

Many believers are quick to point out sins in others, and overlook what they are doing right. Churches have split over slander. Ministers have been removed over false slander and slurs being cast, and most of this by people in the church.

One can expect the world to slander others, they don’t know God. But those in the church are to love and build up because they know God.

Your words do matter. They have an effect upon the lives of other people, to bring life or death, to build up or tear down.

Think about the words God has given you. They work at building you up, not tearing you down. Just as God speaks words of love and life towards you, you must also speak words of love and life towards others.

Think about the words you will speak before you say them. Will they build up or tear down? Show love or hate? Your words do matter.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that your words spoken will be words God would say; that you will build people up in Jesus; and that you will always speak the truth of God in love to all people. 

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Job 19:2 Crushing Words

Torture chair

How long will you torment me and crush me with words? Job 19:2 

It is easy for people to find fault in another person. Faults appear to stand out in a person, no matter how big or small they are. When people see them, most people feel as though they are obligated to report them or point them out, as if the other person did not know about the faults.

Faults are even more quickly pointed out when a person is going through a difficult time. People like to point out reasons why a person may be going through the hard time, rather than showing love and compassion and building the person up.

After hearing his friends talking a bit about his situation, Job gets frustrated with them and asks why they are crushing him with just words. All he was hearing was judgements and destruction.

These types of words and actions are also very common in the church. Judgmental words, though spoken with a mind to be helpful, are often spoken in a way that crushes or hurts a person.

Many people do not take the time to really look at the full situation or fully understand what is going on. People are very quick to judge in a harsh way, rather than show compassion and strive to build a person up with love.

Actions and words like Job’s friends are what has caused many to walk away from the church and even from God. They don’t want to be a part of something that is crushing and tormenting.

Looking at the life of Jesus, He never walked around crushing people with His words. The only people He crushed with words were the head leaders that were supposed to know better. The average person was just a person in learning how to live the right life for God. Jesus had love and compassion for the people.

Think about the words you speak to other people who are going through a tough time. Work to ensure that those words are not crushing, destructive words, but words that build up in love and compassion.

Before you speak, take time to think about what you should say. Think about how Jesus would speak to that person. And always remember that you are not God and do not always know what exactly is going on behind the scenes in a person’s life. They may be being proved by God through the situation, not being punished.

I pray today that you will know God’s love in your life; that you will speak God’s word to others; that you will have God’s love and compassion for others; and that you will build others up with God’s word and not crush them.

Jeremiah 32:3 Why Do You Speak That Way?

Now Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned him there, saying, “Why do you prophesy as you do? You say, ‘This is what the LORD says: I am about to give this city into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will capture it.'” Jeremiah 32:3

Jeremiah had been prophesying that God would destroy Judah and Jerusalem placing the people into captivity in Babylon. This went against the beliefs of the Israelites, because they were the chosen nation and God would not do something like that. The king of Judah had Jeremiah put in prison because of his words. He also asked him why he would say things like that. Jeremiah was just speaking what God had told him to say.

People love to talk about a lot of things. There are some people who can speak for a long time and not really say anything. Others speak just a few words and seem to speak whole volumes of information very quickly.

Words can build up or they can tear down. It all depends on what words are being said and how they are being said.

Most people when they speak, they are just speaking what they think or feel in the moment. It is common for  a person to blurt out something in the heat of the moment that he regrets only seconds later. A few people will actually take time to think about what they are about to say to ensure it is spoken well and is correct and helpful.

As a believer you are responsible for what you say or don’t say. You are also responsible for how you say things. One of your first responsibilities is to speak the gospel message to everyone you can.

The reason you have this responsibility to speak like that is that Jesus gave His life for you and told you to do it. You are to speak all the words of God. Sometimes those words are words of love and comfort, showing how Jesus cares for a person. Other times those words will be harsh words warning of destruction and death coming.

You must keep your focus on what God is saying to the people you meet with. What does He want you to say? That is the only thing you should be saying. It gives you the reason why you speak what you do, whether peaceful or harsh.

I pray today that you will know the words of God; that you will only speak what God wants you to say; that your purpose for speaking is to point people to God; and that many will know Jesus because of your words. 

Jeremiah 24:6-7 God Is Watching Over You

My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. Jeremiah 24:6-7

Jeremiah was given a vision of two baskets of figs, one of which were very good, and the other was very bad. God said that the good figs were like His people who were good and followed His commands. He would watch over them, even while it captivity and bring them back to their land. God planned to build them up again, because the followed Him with all their heart.

In themselves, no person is good. Every person is filled with sin and cannot cleanse himself.  Their condition changes when they accept Jesus. He cleanses them from all sin, when they turn to Him with all of their heart.

A lot of people feel that God is only out to get them and harm them. Nothing good seems to come their way. Many will not even attempt to serve God because of the bad things that have occurred in their lives. Believers often struggle with this same challenge.

When you turn to God with all of your heart and trust Jesus for cleansing of your sin, God is more than willing to cleanse you. He will then watch over you to build you up, not tear you down. God will use the hardships of this life to make you into the person He wants you to be.

As you turn to God with all of your heart, God will turn towards you. He will work at changing your heart so that you may know Him more and more. You get to know God so that you can live the way He plans for you. God has the best plans for your life and you need to trust His plans.

Do you want to stay down in the dumps, because things are not going as you planned (in exile)?

Or do you want to trust God in the dumps to build you back up in His way and in His time?

God is watching you to build you up, not tear you down.

I pray today that you will turn to God with all of your heart; that you will obey all God’s commands; that you will trust God with all of your life; and that you will know God is there for you.

Isaiah 19:22 A Strike, Then Repair

The LORD will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the LORD, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them. Isaiah 19:22

Egypt was one of the many nations that God had planned to strike and break down. They had refused to follow Him, so He chose to strike them. During the process of being struck down, the Egyptians would turn to God and cry out to Him. God would hear their cries and stop the time of destruction and heal them. He would pour out blessings on Egypt in the end.

Punishment comes in many forms all around the world. It occurs with individuals, all the way up to entire nations. Most nations are very quick to punish someone for doing something wrong. The purpose of the punishment is to make the person pay for the wrong that they did.

Once the punishment is over, however, very few nations or people, strive to rebuild the person or nation back up again. Once a person is punished, most will leave that person there in the position, saying that is the price that is paid for doing wrong. The individual has to fight for himself to build himself back up.

God works in a different way. His purpose of punishment is to get the person to focus back on Him. Once the purpose is accomplished, God will build that person back up.

God listens to the cries of every person in this world. As that person cries out repentance and seeks forgiveness, God is ready to forgive and build that person back up correctly.

In your own life you must realize God may be allowing you to go through a touch time right now to get your focus back on Him. Turn to Him and allow Him to build you up.

Along with getting repaired yourself, work to build others up who have harmed you. There will be people who have done you wrong. As they seek forgiveness, give it to them. And then work to build them back up.

Those who have made bad choices in their life give you an opportunity to love and build up in Jesus. Don’t force the person to stay down. Show God’s love and mercy to them and lift them up from the mud. Allow God to use you to rebuild their lives for Him.

I pray today that you will see God’s hand to rebuild lives; that you will learn from God’s corrections in your life; that God will use you to build others up; and that you will cry out to God for your own life and the lives of others.