Today’s Readings: Psalm 135; Nehemiah 9:1-15; Matthew 15:1-20; Revelation 18:1-8
From the time I was very young, I was an incredibly verbal person. I thought quickly on my feet and had (at least by my own standards) a good sense of humor which I used frequently.
One day when I was in my sophomore English class, my teacher - Mr. Wilson - commented that I was an incredibly sarcastic person. I didn’t know what the word sarcastic meant, so I said, “Thanks.” When I got home, I looked up the word and found out it meant things like “biting”, “cutting”, “bitter”, and “derisive”.
I was surprised to hear those words used in relation to me – so I started to pay more attention to the way I spoke. And you know what? Mr. Wilson was right. Much of my humor was at the expense of others. As I moved forward, I made a conscious effort to be more aware of the words I used and how they might affect others.
Jesus was clued in to the importance of words. That’s why he’s quoted in today’s passage from Matthew as saying, “It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles” (Matthew 15:11 from the NRSV). Today I would invite you to be more aware of the words that come out of your mouth. Do those words encourage and uplift others; or do those words berate and diminish others? And what do those words suggest about the condition of your own heart? Til next time…