Daily Devotions: Matt 5

Sermon on the Mount (cont.).

And don’t say anything you don’t mean… 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 5:37

I’ve been reading through the Sermon on the Mount for quite a while now, deep stuff. My goal is to read and blog through the entire NT, then move to the OT. Not sure how long it will take, but that’s the goal.

So this little jewel above is pretty amazing. People often get themselves in trouble when they open their mouths (as do I). As James put it:

A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!

James 3:5,6

I’ve come to the conclusion (which will change of course) that communication is the key to ministry. Bad communication, or lack of communication will wreak havok. I’m just going to list off these things running through my head:

  • no communication shows a lack of care and/or respect
  • bad communication leads to questions of motive (is this person manipulating me?)
  • religious jargon is out (and has been for thousands of years)
  • too many people talk just to hear themselves talk (maybe that’s what’s good about a blog)
  • we feel the need to be heard – that’s not bad as long as you listen to others more that you talk
  • being honest is always the best thing to do, and the hardest
  • without love to back them up, words are pretty useless – especially when dealing with hard situations. and…
  • love is not something you can say, it must be expressed through action (there’s got to be history). and…
  • if you have no history with someone, how can you speak into their life in love?
  • I talk too much a lot of the time…
  • I need to work on listening more, especially with my family…
  • Our lead pastor John said something interesting this week, “I’d like to use the word ‘Holiness’ instead of ‘Integrity’. I really like that, we don’t talk much about ‘Holiness’ anymore.

2 thoughts on “Daily Devotions: Matt 5

  1. jamesmclean

    i concur with the ‘holiness’ usage.
    my big thing is that i need to learn that listening doesn’t mean waiting for your turn to talk.

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