Words. We all like words a lot. Growing up, I was a talker. Some may say I’m still a talker. It’s ok to be a talker, right? I’d say it depends. What exactly are we talking about? Taylor Swift’s boyfriends or how we really don’t like the Miami Heat so we definitely want the Spurs to win? Or is it that we are talking about a friend who did something crazy last night or maybe even about the new Superman movie? I don’t know what you’re talking about, but all of the things I mentioned above sound pretty silly and meaningless. If those things are meaningless, then what’s considered meaningful?
We like to talk about things that excite us and that make us happy. Things that make us feel better about ourselves or make us look better than others. We are selfish in our words. We say things that help us get ahead. We say things that put others down by making ourselves seem like something great. And we really, really like to talk about what everyone else likes to talk about. That’s why we talk about celebrities and their lives that will never have anything to do with us. And that’s why we talk about professional sports teams and athletes even though we really have no clue who they are as individuals, just what they do for a couple of minutes on the court or field.
That’s so lame to me. It just doesn’t add up to who I’m trying to be. I’m trying to be more and more like my Lord Jesus Christ. It doesn’t make sense for me to do anything like anyone else, but Him. The Lord Jesus Christ. He is who brings meaning to our lives. So talking about whoever and whatever either keeps me at a standstill or moves me backwards. It does not push me to Jesus.
All we really need to ask is – What would Jesus say?
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
Jesus used His words to tell all of the free gift of salvation. He made sure to let people know that there is only one way to be saved and to have everlasting life. He knew His purpose on this earth. He made sure to speak of God’s love and God’s authority over Him. He spoke with humility and honesty. He used His words to pray to His Father. He took time to be alone with God. He used His words to teach His disciples. He encouraged them and corrected them with love. Every word He spoke was meaningful. He spoke truth.
I know it’s not possible to stop talking about our interests, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be intentional, like Jesus. We either use our words to hurt or to help. There shouldn’t be any gray area. Yes, sure, talk about what music you like, but talk about the music you like to a struggling believe who you are trying to build a relationship with by relating to their interests. Talk about football, but quickly turn the conversation to faith. Talking about football and faith sounds like a pretty good conversation to me. Don’t let your conversations just end at music and sports. Think – everything I’m saying is hurting or helping. If it’s doing neither then that’s not good either. Don’t be in the middle. Let’s be far right. Let’s keep our eyes on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of our Heavenly Father. That’s where I want to be. That’s where I want to keep my eyes set. And He is who I want to talk about. It may be hard to be so focused on having meaningful conversations, but we have to start somewhere, right?
As a child/teenager I would talk and talk and talk, about whatever – school, friends, nothing – my dad’s only response to me, pouring out my seemingly important issues to him, was, “Talk less, do more.” Literally, that’s what he would say to me. Can you imagine talking to someone, a lot, and you stop to hear their response to all you just said and that’s what they say?! Haha, now it’s pretty funny. Now, I am so thankful. He’s right. That’s all I needed to hear repeatedly because now it’s stuck in my head. Talk less. Do more. These days when my pops and I talk, thankfully, he doesn’t have that response anymore. I haven’t heard it in a while. I’m hoping that means that I am talking less and doing more.
In order for us to talk less and do more we have to train our selves. The tongue is a weapon. It’s a tool. It’s even a gift for some. Some people know exactly what to say to get to you, either in a good or bad way. You have to practice using this weapon in the right way. Because when used in the wrong way it never ends well. It’s a weapon that can’t be pulled out and used on impulse. Like when you’re angry, if you start talking because of that anger, that’s for sure not going to get you anywhere, but to a worse place. And you shouldn’t use this weapon just because you have nothing better to do. The tongue shouldn’t be used to talk about just anything. Remember, you either help or hurt. There’s no in between. If we can’t help with our words, then what’s the solution for us? That’s easy. Don’t talk. Keep the weapon safe. Keep everyone else around safe. Keep yourself safe. Stay quiet. Consult the Lord immediately. And be like Jesus. After training yourself to use this weapon appropriately, then having meaningful conversations will come naturally. It’s a hard lesson I’ve had to learn. Talking and talking and talking with no intention to help anyone, even myself, only led me into a web of lies. It led me into another world where words were just used so I could fit in or cover something up. They weren’t used so that I would stand out. Now, it’s my secret weapon. If I talk about something meaningful, like, let’s say, Jesus, and I get people looking at me weird and joking about how nuts I am, then mission accomplished. I am weird. Ask anyone. Especially my college roommates, they know. But beyond my personality being strange, I’m weird because I’m not from here. I want to stand out, but even more than wanting to stand out, being a follower of Christ means that I am going to stand out. I’m not of this world. My words shouldn’t be of this world. Being a Christian means Christ in me, which in turn means everything coming out of me should point to Him. He is it.
I’m the first one guilty of having meaningless conversations and speaking hurtful words. But now that I know the truth about words and how Jesus Christ used His words, I’m responsible for intentionally choosing my words. I’m responsible for consulting Him in prayer before I hurt or help anyone with my words. He’s always going to lead me to help. So whatever you use your words for and whatever your words are, make sure to think twice before you speak knowing that you do have a secret weapon. Trust that the Lord will give you the right words. Be confident that He lives in you. I don’t want to speak my own words, I want to speak His words. And that is completely possible, because “it is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Speak Truth, y’all. That’s what Jesus would do.