I’m pretty sure there’s a lesson to be learned in just about all of life’s situations…if we’re listening.
My voice has been all but gone for the past four days. It takes great effort to produce any sound, and the sound that is produced is raspy and sporadic.
So most of the time I’ve just been whispering. The only problem is that when I whisper, it’s pretty much impossible for the listener to hear me the first time around (yes, there are six children in my house; plus a dog; and a husband whose volume at times tends toward the higher numbers on the dial).
I frequently have to repeat myself. So I whisper louder. And I’m still not heard, so I have to repeat myself again. Then I try to produce some tone…and then we’re back to the raspy and sporadic voice thing. And I’m still not understandable.
And so there have been numerous times over the past few days that I’ve started to say something, only to stop and think about the effort it’s going to take to convey my thoughts, and then I decide what I was going to say isn’t worth the trouble.
In this I’ve learned a big lesson:
A lot of my words are unnecessary.
God has something to say about this:
“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account
for every careless word they speak.” (Matthew 12:36)
I think this is one of those verses we don’t really believe. I mean really believe. Because if we did, wouldn’t it make a difference?
Here are some more of God’s words on the matter:
“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.” (Proverbs 10:19)
“So then, my beloved brethren,
let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”
I’ve learned this week what it means to be careful with words. To restrain my lips. To be slow to speak…choosing my words intentionally — ensuring they are necessary.
I only wish my careful attitude was a result of spiritual growth rather than the limitations of a physical ailment.
Here’s something else I’ve been thinking about though:
none of God’s words are careless.
They are all perfectly appropriate. Perfectly necessary. Perfectly suited. Perfectly useful. Perfectly true.
Which is why it’s important for me to be a good listener. Because I don’t want to miss any of His words.
And for me to be a frequent, thorough, and attentive student of the Bible. Because I don’t want to miss any of His words.
And I long for those words to make a difference in me.
Written by Jennifer Clarke