By: Trishia Warrick
“And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.”– Matthew 5:33-37 -The Message (MSG)
At our house, I have been working with our youngest on how talking to God should have substance. For example, we are trying to get her to add just one new thing she is thankful for to her evening prayer. I keep telling her words have meaning. I realized the other day that I needed to learn this lesson again myself.
I am what I call a “focused” driver. I do not care for drivers that I consider blockers. In my mind, there is a lane for slower drivers, and they should not be in my lane. One morning, as a slower than slow driver clogged my lane, I found myself angrily muttering as I passed by, “Well, bless your heart!” To bless someone means to request God’s divine favor be placed on a recipient. My face and my actions did not indicate this special request at all!
I cannot tell you how often I use words that have a religious “smoke screen of pious talk.” Lately, I have had a deep conviction to try and not manipulate my words to my benefit. Many of those I love in my life really do need the prayers I’ve promised to relay on their behalf. If I say I am going to pray, I am going to pray. If my letters end in “Blessings”, at that very moment, I request divine favor for that person.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to remember the value of words. With the help of your Spirit, let me use words that have meaning and let me mean my words.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Trishia married a guy that likes the outdoors, so camping has become her number one idea of a good time. Her greatest achievements lately have been to out-fish her husband (with a fly-rod). Her average week has her homeschooling two children, tutoring multiple students in history at a local tutorial, and volunteering in leadership at the tutorial as well. She loves reading and has become addicted to young adult fiction.