Read thru the New Testament 2018
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids
Bible Reading: Matthew 12:22-50
Listen to music, read a magazine, watch a television show…take your pick. Time and again you will see people using words about other people that are derogatory, demeaning, and disgusting. It’s as if we think that we can say anything we want to about another person and it doesn’t matter and we can get away with it. But it does matter and we will be held accountable. The words that we speak have incredible power. A single word spoken in the right context, or to the right person, can have a devastating impact on someone’s life. The buzzword these days is “false news”. Generally, it is the intentional spreading of a rumor in order to do damage to someone. The problem is that it doesn’t make any difference if the rumor is true, or not. It isn’t necessary for the rumor to be true for there to be damage. Just the fact that there is a rumor at all, does damage. People have the attitude that the rumor wouldn’t have even been started if there wasn’t some element of truth to it. Like the old saying, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” But that’s not necessarily true. And on top of that, it takes much more effort to correct a rumor…than it does to create a rumor.
Words. Words say as much about the person who speaks them…as they do about the person they are spoken about. Jesus says that words are like an x-ray…they reveal what’s going on inside of a person. He says that God hears every single word we ever speak…and one day, we will give an account to Him for every single word we ever speak. He’s not saying that we just need to have a change of words…but, we need to have a change of heart. And, while we may be able to change our words…only God can change our heart.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
How many words do you know? There are currently 171,476 active words in the English language. The average 4-year-old knows 5,000 words in their native language. The average 8-year-old knows 10,000. The average adult knows 25,000-30,000. Somewhere around middle age we stop learning new words.
How many words do you say each day? While researchers really differ on how many words a person speaks each day…one study says that the average American speaks more than 16,000 words per day. That’s 5,840,000 words per year. If you live to be 70-years-old…that would be 408,800,000 words in your lifetime. That’s a lot of words. Guess that’s where the phrase “motor mouth” comes from.
Communication between people can be difficult. There are many reasons, but one is that not only do we have a lot of words to remember, but two words can be spelled the same way…but have different meanings. These words are called homonyms and there are about 8,000-10,000 in the English language. For instance, what different meanings do the following words have?
- Bark (like on a tree, or what your dog does)
- Foot (what’s on the end of your leg, or what 12 inches equals)
- Light (what you turn on in the dark, or when something is not heavy)
- Shake (what you do when you’re cold, or what you make with ice cream)
- Tackle (what a football player does, or what is in your fishing box).
And it only gets worse. There are also words that have multiple meanings. The word “run” has 179 different meanings and the word “take” has 127 different meanings. And there are more of them!
Then there is your brother, or friend, who thinks that he is a comedian and says something on purpose using a word that has more than one meaning…just to confuse you. That is called a “pun”. It is a joke that makes a play-on-words. As a result, one person may read a sentence and think it means one thing…and another person may read the same sentence and think that it means something else. How could each of the following quotes be understood in different ways?
- The best way to communicate with a fish is to drop them a line.
- Two silkworms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
- I was struggling to figure out how lightning works then it struck me.
- I’ve been to the dentist so many times that I know the drill.
- How do construction workers party? They raise the roof.
- A boiled egg every morning is hard to beat.
- After hours of waiting for the bowling alley to open, we finally got the ball rolling.
- Always trust a glue salesman. They tend to stick to their word.
- Groucho Marx was a famous comedian. He made a pun when he said, “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know.”
But sometimes we say stuff that isn’t funny, at all. We use words to hurt another person’s feelings. We use words to make other people look bad. Or, we use words about another person that are untruthful. Our words have power. They affect other people. Have you ever heard the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? Well guess what? It’s not true. Oh, sticks and stones can break your bones…but words can also hurt…a lot!
Did you know that not everybody who met Jesus liked Him? I know, it’s hard to believe…but there were some people who were actually against Him. What was there to not like? He healed the sick. He taught how to live a happy and productive life. He loved those that no one else loved. He gave forgiveness. What was there to not like? Well, the reason that these people didn’t like Him was because they were from the leaders of the Jews and they didn’t like the fact that many folks were beginning to follow Jesus and His teaching about God…and to not follow what they taught. And they were not willing to just dislike Him and leave it at that. No. They wanted to stop Him…dead in his tracks. So, they began to spread rumors about Him. They said bad things about Jesus. For instance, they said the reason that Jesus could make demons leave people was because He was working with the leader of the demons, the devil. We might think that what they said wouldn’t make much difference. People would know it was just them talking. No one is going to listen to them. But people did listen to them and as a result, they turned away from Jesus. This deeply disturbed Jesus because the words of those Jewish leaders had a negative affect on the people’s relationship with God. Jesus said that they were saying evil things about the good that He was doing and that revealed what was in their heart. Jesus said that you can tell what is in a man’s heart…his attitude, his beliefs, his way of thinking…by listening to the words that he speaks. Then Jesus said that God will judge us by our words. Why? Because the words that we speak reveal what we are like on the inside, the condition of our heart. And, if our words are evil, guess what…that means that our heart is evil. And God will have nothing to do with evil. These men saw themselves as being very, very religious. And yet, Jesus said that the evil things that they said revealed that they were actually evil in their hearts.
The words we speak are very, very important. It isn’t just how many words you know, or how fast you can say them. But what is important is that our words say as much about us…as they do about the person we are speaking about. We need to listen to our own words. If we say bad things about other people…if our words are cruel, and hurtful, and untruthful…then that reveals that we have a heart problem. If that is true…then we need to stop saying those things and ask God to forgive us. We need to ask God to change our hearts.
Listen to yourself talk. For an entire day…think about every word that comes out of your mouth. What do your words…say about you? Do your words reveal that you have a good heart because they are good words? Or, are your words bad, hurtful, mean…and they reveal that your heart is not good? Remember, Jesus said that one day we will have to give a report to God about why we said the things that we said. Wouldn’t it be great if that report was filled with good things that we said…and not bad. Start today by saying something good to everyone that you meet. Encourage them. Say something positive to them. Make them feel good. You just might meet someone who is going through a difficult time and what you say could change their life. Remember: if words can hurt, they can also heal. Now, go run your mouth off…for good!
Love you more than bunches and bunches,