Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Words Uttered"

In doing research recently on the Internet, I ran across a quote from a professing Christian teacher. He proposed that we can say to God anything we want, including the use of profanity directed toward Him when we don't understand or like His way in our lives. "God can take it" wrote the author, who also implied that such "openness and honesty" might actually be spiritually cathartic for us.

Certainly it is true that God can take it. However, we can't.

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof" (Proverbs 18:21).

Granting a blank check, as it were, to a tongue that is "set on fire of hell" inevitably ignites destruction and self deception (James 3:6). Any catharsis we may feel when we allow ourselves to vent to God or to others may be temporarily sweet in our emotions. But it is deadly to our experience of heavenly and earthly relationships. Words uttered cannot be reeled back in. They all bear consequences, to the degree that we shall one day give account for even those spoken that seemingly had no real meaning or significance (Matthew 12:36). The Creator and Sustainer of our being is referred to in Scripture as "the Word," and thus it is impossible that our verbal expression can ever be inconsequential (John 1:1). Little wonder then that the Psalmist besought the Lord to "Set a watch, o Lord before my mouth. Keep the door of my lips" (Psalm 141:3).

There is never a time or place when we should allow ourselves to utter a disrespectful word to God. Doubtless we all have done so, although we may not have descended to the depravity of blasphemy mentioned above. If so, we can rejoice that in this elemental aspect of our walk with God, "there is forgiveness with Thee" (Psalm 130:4). The grace of the Lord Jesus redeems and restores fellowship with our Heavenly Father when we come to Him in honest contrition. Upon this basis, we then go forth with David's aforementioned prayer in our hearts and on our lips. "Set a watch, o Lord... keep." There are few more important requests because there is nothing more important than the capacity to speak given to us by God. Words are matters of life and death, and a tongue presented to Him and empowered by the Holy Spirit will consider horrific any expression of disrespect directed toward Heaven.

"The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself."
(Ecclesiastes 10:12)

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