Welcome to GracePoint Church, where we are committed to helping you take your next steps toward knowing and serving a holy God of grace and truth.
I have asked Linda Opp to be my guest blogger for the first week of 2021. Enjoy her thoughts. ~ Pastor Perry Kallis
TOO MANY WORDS
When I was a kid my dad bought a plaque at a gift shop during a family trip to Yellowstone National Park. He brought it home and hung it above the laundry sink. It perfectly captured his sense of humor, as well as his view of people who talk a lot without actually knowing what they are talking about:
He who thinketh by the inch
But talketh by the yard
Deserveth to be kicketh by the foot.
It hangs in my house now, on the way to the laundry room. I smile every time I walk by, which is pretty often. It reminds me an awful lot of Job's friends, who had much to say about Job's troubles, but who, in the end, didn't say anything helpful. After 37 chapters of useless human chatter God says in 38:1, “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?” The useless chatterers are stopped in their tracks.
The world is drowning in words without knowledge. The last few months of Covid, shut downs, riots, elections, and now a vaccine rollout, have been filled with controversy. If you use social media you are bombarded with words, but not necessarily conversation – angry words, opinionated words, emotional words, hateful words, panicked words, vicious words. Words, words, words. Many of these words are offered without actual knowledge or wisdom. 2020 was a year of unbridled words, and 2021 isn't looking much better. Some of us deserveth to be kicketh by the foot indeed.
But words are God's gift to us, and like all his gifts are intended to glorify him and bless others when rightly used. One of the biggest problems with too many words is that they are usually offered without having listened first. Listening includes doing research and restraining opinions until you have the facts. It includes letting someone else talk until they're finished. The world has many talkers, but too few learners and listeners.
Here's wisdom from James 1:19 - “Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear (be a careful, thoughtful listener), slow to speak (a speaker of carefully chosen words), and slow to anger (patient, reflective, forgiving)”... (Amplified Bible).
We need words, and sometimes we need hard words, but always in the context of thoughtfulness, patience, forgiveness and reflection. If we used Job 38:1 and James 1:19 as a guide for social media and in-person conversations, imagine how pleased God would be and how fruitful our words would be in the lives of others.
I'm thinking of revising my dad's plaque:
He who thinketh by the yard
But talketh by the inch
Deserveth to be honored by the mile