– George Herbert
I love Joshua 21:45 which says, “Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” Think about that verse. Not one word in all of eternity; not one promise from before time; has ever failed to come to pass. God’s Word is worth much, in fact, it’s worth our salvation (Rom 1:16; 1st Cor 1:18).
When we give our word, we are promising someone something that we will do what we said we will do, but that may or may not be fulfilled, because we’re human and things come up. People get sick and things break down, so we might not always be able to keep our word, but not so with God. David publically praised God and said, “O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant” (2nd Sam 7:28). God always keeps His Word. Let us strive to do the same.
Wrestling over Words
Sadly, too many Christians are divided over non-essential doctrines and get into all kinds of debates like, “Well, the Greek says this but you say that.” Job would ask, “Should he argue in unprofitable talk, or in words with which he can do no good” (Job 15:3), which is why the Apostle Paul told Timothy to “Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers” (2nd Tim 2:14). If it doesn’t benefit anyone, why say it? Rather than wrestle or argue over words, or about the Bible, why not remember that “a word in season, how good it is!” (Prov 15:23b), for “Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good” (Job 16:20a).
Building up with Words
We can tear one another down with words or we can build one another up with words. Words have power in the sense that they can encourage someone or they can discourage someone. If we have to make a choice, let us build one another up. Wounds from sticks and stones can heal, but we can’t take back words. They can leave a much deeper scar than a mere wound in the flesh that will heal. They can also hurt much worse. Let us weigh our words carefully before we speak, because once they’ve gone out of our mouth, we can’t take them back, any more than you can unscramble an egg.
I agree with Mr. George Herbert that “Good words are worth much, and cost little,” so why do we hesitate to use them? We ought to be generous with our words of encouragement but remember to keep our word; we should stop arguing or debating about things in the Bible that are non-essential; and we should use words to build each other up…and not use them to tear one another down.