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Oh Rats, I Wasted That Water!

Read: Proverbs 18:21; Proverbs 12:18; Colossians 4:5-6; Philippians 4:8


I went out to do yard work this week with my watering vessels and a bucket for the weeds. I set the water on the ground and started to pull the unwelcome weeds. Then I realized it. One of the containers had tipped over. Spilling almost all of the water onto the ground rather than onto the plants that needed it. Wasted water. It is only a little thing since I could get more out of the faucet. Even so, that little incident reminded me of another resource I can easily let fall onto the ground. Words. They are precious, but I can carelessly waste them, but the good news is that I can just as easily use them in a good way, Proverbs 18:21. If I may, I would like to share an example of both kinds of words. Both words that are unprofitable and then, words that are beautiful.


First, the words that are wasted because they aren't helpful or useful to those who hear them, Ephesians 4:29. This week on a Christian call in show, I heard the short testimony from a lady whose name I can't remember. Growing up had held many very difficult things for her. The breakup of her parents' marriage and sexual abuse were a part of her story; however, there was a bright spot. At least until she was seven years old. Her father would give her a kiss good night, and that was a sweet time of affirmation for her. Until, one night, the little girl said tentatively that perhaps she was too old for that. Her father said that probably she was. Not the words she had hoped to hear, and with that, her place of comfort that had been a shelter and a place of safety for her came to an end. Words spoken stole joy from that child. I of course, have no knowledge concerning what that dad was thinking, and thankfully the woman speaking has come to know the love of her Heavenly Father and perhaps, there has been healing in her relationship with her dad. I simply share the example to illustrate the importance for us, as those who love Jesus, to ask Him to give us words that bring life to those who hear them. Since we have the Holy Spirit living in us, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, we can be guided and empowered by Him, Galatians 2:20.


Now it’s time to consider the other kind of words. Words that bring joy. With that thought in mind, let's play a game called "who said that". Ready?

Who described the earth as: "a very delicate, colorful orb, which to me looked like a Christmas tree ornament, coming up over this very stark, ugly lunar landscape."

Time's up. Did you say Neil Armstrong? Good try, but wrong. That quote came from astronaut William Anders who died in the crash of his small plane on June 7. Anders saw the earth on the Apollo 8 mission and described it in a way that gave me great joy just by reading his words. The beauty of light shimmering onto glittery Christmas tree ornaments with their colors shining beautifully. What a good use of words.


That word picture reminded me of the majesty of our Creator/Redeemer. What a beautiful home He has given us with its vast mountains and oceans and its tiny wildflowers. No wonder Romans 1:19-20 clearly reminds us that the beauty and order of creation is a billboard for everyone to see. It is God pointing to Himself. Wooing people. Reminding each of us of His awesomeness and that we can come to know Him if we long to worship the Creator rather than the creation. Two small examples of two different kinds of words. Proverbs tells us the same thing. Here we are reminded that careless words can wound like the piercing of a sword. Oh, but wise words from the Lord bring healing, Proverbs 12:18.


In Colossians 4:5-6, we are reminded that our words should be gracious and wise as we interact with folks who don't yet know the Savior. Winsome words that don't shrink back from speaking truth but do it in a loving way. In Philippians 4:8, Paul gives us a bit of a checklist for our thoughts. He says that they should be, among other things, true, pure, lovely and commendable. What if we borrow this list and ask God to give us words to match these thoughts. As we continue to talk with the Lord about this, we will have more and more words that aren't wasted.




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