Sunday, February 27, 2011

Every careless word

Last week I started reading Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster.

So good. 

And quite deep.

The kind of deep that requires concentration and brain parts that I don't seem to use regularly.

I am loving it.

The first chapter explores spiritual disciplines as a whole. I'll share some things I'm learning in future posts, but tonight I need to share a passage that I can't stop thinking about.

Matthew 12:34-36
"For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks....But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken."

Did you get that?

Every. Careless. Word.

Why have I not noticed this verse before? I am quite familiar with verse 34 but can't seem to recall studying much about verse 36.

I will have to give account for every careless word that has passed through my lips.

Every single one.

Convicting. So incredibly convicting.


Sadly, Ryan bears the brunt of many most of my careless words. Stress, tension, lack of time, fatigue, irritability....it doesn't matter what the cause is, these situations bring out the worst in me and I throw up ugly words all over my husband.

And he certainly doesn't deserve that.

I often try to think about Ephesians 4:29: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

I know this verse. It is a command. It tells me to only speak life-giving words and to restrict unwholesome talk.

But I frequently disobey this command and do not use my words to build up others.

Somehow reading that I am going to have to give account for every careless word is challenging me these days.

Foster's point in using this verse is that the true condition of the heart is revealed when careless words slip out...but when we are transformed on the inside (through the practice of spiritual disciplines), our words can reveal the kindness and goodness that is within us. The overflow of the heart will be beauty not ugliness.

I'm afraid I've got a long way to go before I'm celebrating the disciplines in this book. And I imagine the Lord has a lot to teach me on this journey. 

4 comments:

Ann said...

Alright, that post went straight for the heart! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who carries regret when I comes to careless use of words.

Also, I really enjoyed that book as well. Our small group in church read it together a few years ago. It's worth the work to read it, and it's a spiritual discipline in itself just to read the entire book! Enjoy... maybe I will have to go back and revisit it again.

Angie said...

WOW. Powerful stuff! Thank you for the post... made me think for sure!

cybil said...

words are so powerful!!!
and I think it helps to make an effort to speak the good and healthy and believing words - to yourself, the spouse, friends, neighbours...
all are encouraged by words that are filled with love, faith, encouragement and joy

lesliemarie said...

Our pastor preached on something very similar yesterday...and I still stand convicted today! Thanks for posting. :) I know I don't comment often, but I love reading your blog. Today, I want to direct you to one of my friend's blogs...she lost her sweet baby girl at 33-34 weeks last week. I know you will be able to minister to her in ways that I can't. Thank you in advance! http://johnnajobullard.blogspot.com