Speaker: Chris Seay Passage: James 3
This last weekends sermon was on James 3…. the thrust of which is about our tongue and what words do in the world.“2We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. 3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.”
Chris did a great job breaking this down and challenging the community to consider our words/speech as a very powerful force in the world. One of my favorite takes on the passage was that we live in a world of technology where we can “say” so many rude things via email/twitter/blogs… and not have to see the physical effects of our words. But our words are so powerful. The phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is so untrue. Words stick with us for our whole lives. I know that I have had to deal with things people said to me in the past. It felt like taking out arrows…. arrows of lies stuck in my consciousness…. working it’s way into my psyche poisoning my life. But with technology, we are removed from the persons physical presence, and it’s easy to let those dangerous arrows out when we are angry/mad/hurt…. because we wouldn’t say those things to a persons face. We know it would hurt so bad…. and be rude. But because of that distance… it’s easy to let the poison fly. This is what James is speaking about…. the power of words no matter what the medium.
I wouldn’t call myself a Beth Moore fan mostly cause I don’t know any of her stuff… but I painted during her session at Catalyst last week. She was expounding on twitter… that she liked it but was worried about our immediacy in response to things. She, in her Texas charm, said “eat it before you tweet it”… meaning before you respond to things let it sit awhile.
Our immediacy in responding to things is a dangerous habit I believe…. because it seems to me that wisdom really comes from a place that ponders. One of the funniest and wisest guys I know, Jamie Franklin, models this well. When you ask him a question, he may take 15 seconds to say something… cause he’s really thinking about it. He wants to consider all sides, and chooses wisely the words he will say to you. We’ve gotten so use the applauding of quick responses (via political debates, TV, etc) that we’ve forgotten that a wise answer is better than a quick answer.
For me, this painting is a reminder that my words are powerful. And the way I want to “steer my ship” with my the things I say is in the way of blessing others. Blessing through compliments, encouragement… but on the other side refraining from speaking maliciously or badly about other.
“Eat it before you tweet it”.
God bless Texas.