“If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must influence them; do not let them influence you!” —Jeremiah 15:19 (NLT)
We humans talk a fair amount—some of us more than others. Studies show that the average man speaks around 7,000 words per day—which seems like a lot—until you learn that the average woman speaks around 20,000 words per day! To put that number into perspective, Amazon.com says that the average novel contains 64,000 words, so many of you ladies are verbalizing over two books per week!
Here’s the question (for all of us, not just the ladies): how much of what we say is of value? Paul instructed the Ephesians (4:29) thusly: “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Our words have the power to uplift and encourage, but too often we fail to use them that way.
Irish evangelist Gypsy Smith once said, “There are five Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the life of a Christian—many people will never read the first four.” All of us come into casual contact with many people over the course of a given week. Each conversation presents a new opportunity to edify and impart grace to the hearers.
“Kind, cheerful, encouraging words will prove more effective than the most healing medicines. These will bring courage to the heart of the desponding and discouraged, and the happiness and sunshine brought into the family by kind acts and encouraging words will repay the effort tenfold.”
—Ellen White, My Life Today, p. 157
Thanks to the efforts of the internet, television, and the 24-hour news cycle, we’re bombarded by news—much of it bad. I don’t know about you, but my family and I could use more “courage, happiness and sunshine.” Our world needs the Gospel message like never before. We’re called not only to share that message but to live it as well.
In the verse at the beginning of this post, God is reassuring the prophet Jeremiah by making a promise. “If you return to me, I will restore you. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman.” My prayer for you this week is twofold: First, that God will help you to choose your words wisely, as they could be the only “gospel” a person hears that day. Second, that you’ll allow God to hide His word in your heart through daily Bible study so that when an opportunity presents itself to speak encouragement and truth into someone’s life, you’ll be ready.
May you receive all of the blessings that God has for you as you finish your week. Thank you for reading!