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May 16, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you.”—Proverbs 4:24 (NKJV)
God cares about what comes out of our mouths . . . He cares very deeply! He doesn’t turn a blind eye or have a blasé attitude when it comes to our words. But He is continually reinforcing the need to be truthful and forthright whenever we speak. What we say is just as important as what we think and what we do. This is a non-negotiable issue driven home very powerfully in the Proverb above.
But have you ever wondered why? Why, in the grand scheme of things, does God put such a high value on what we say? Part of the reason is revealed to us by Jesus, Himself: “But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem” (Matthew 5:34–35 NKJV).
Notice what Jesus is saying here. He’s warning against the first century practice of swearing by something greater than one’s own self to gain a sense of trust. If you wanted someone to really believe what you were saying, you would attach your words to something incredibly significant like heaven, earth, or the Holy City of Jerusalem. “I swear to God,” “I swear by my mother’s life,” “I swear on my life.” Do any of these sound familiar? This issue is just as rampant today as it was then.
Jesus essentially said, “Don’t do that!” And the reason is because a person who is following and representing God shouldn’t need to do that. They shouldn’t have to invoke someone or something else in order to be believed and trusted. If they do, then it means they have established a reputation of being deceitful and untrustworthy.
As Christians, those who reflect Christ, our words should be an extension of our character as a whole. They should be solid, firm, reliable, and certain. When we say something, or promise to do something, that should settle the matter in the minds of those we are talking to. Our words should have a weight to them that’s respected and understood as being reliable.
After all, isn’t that how we want it to be between God and us? Don’t we want His words to be true, trustworthy, and reliable? We’re all in eternal trouble if they’re not! Let’s live in such a way that represents Christ Jesus well, because then our words will have weight, and it will be unnecessary to swear by anything other than the good character that God’s Spirit is forming in us.
DIG: Why does God care about our words?
DISCOVER: What does Jesus teach us on this issue?
DISPLAY: On a scale of 1 to 10, how reliable are your words? How can you increase that number?
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.