Pastor Joe Miller IV
Growing up, we lived on a back road and didn’t have many neighbors. The ones we had were older so there were not many kids my age to play any sports with, so I spent a lot of my time in the woods. I started hunting with a slingshot, then moved up to a BB gun. Even though I had a little bit of success, I was never much of a threat; until I turned 12 and was allowed to carry a real gun. To this day, 45 years later, there are not a lot of things I enjoy more than spending time in the woods and doing what comes naturally, you might even say obeying God’s Word (Acts 11:7).
Like many activities with high levels of excitement comes an element of danger, and it is no different with hunting. In fact, getting hit with a baseball was nothing like getting hit with a 12 gauge. Trust me, I have been hit by both. So when you participate in any activity where you potentially could lose your life, you prioritize safety. In the hunting world, because there are no animals or birds that are bright orange, it is a universal law that in most instances in hunting, the hunters wear some form of bright orange to communicate “don’t shoot this way!” Communicating with other hunters is a top priority in having a fun, profitable day. The Bible shows us the heightened importance and necessity that the role of ‘profitable communication’ plays in relationships, family, church, etc.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Corrupt vs. edifying. The strength of relationships hinges upon the exchange of thoughts, ideas, and feelings. The Bible warns us of two different kinds of communication: corrupt words vs. edifying words, or the building up of others through the words you say to them. We are living in a time where communication occurs more through texting, emails, and Facebook - resulting in a lack of face to face, verbal communication, and little accountability. Opinions, by definition, are views and judgments formed about something, not necessarily based upon facts, knowledge, or truth. Everywhere we look, most people are standing, walking, or driving with phones in their hands communicating with someone. Unfortunately, opinions are rampant, and truth is in short supply. I understand this taking place in the world, but this should not be the case with God's children.
When Christians communicate, we should be ministering grace to the hearers. Here are a few more verses to help us be better ambassadors for Christ and communicate the love and grace of God to others. Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, comes to a conclusion after a long life. The words of a wise man versus the words of a foolish man and what these words produce.
The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.
In Matthew 12, Jesus reminds us of the power and influence our words carry.
Matthew 12: 33-37
Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
A good man, a Christ-like man’s words will produce profitable things, but an evil ungodly man will produce evil things and discord. Both men will give an account in the days of judgment. Finally Paul’s letter to the church at Colosse challenges the brethren’s communication.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Not only communication to each other but the words we communicate to the unsaved world.
Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
I now challenge us all, starting with myself, to live out Colossians 3:17 and be a little more like Jesus today than we were yesterday.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.