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  • Writer's pictureFirst Congregational Church Winter Park



Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation. - Matthew 12:36b-37


Oh, man. If ever there was a scripture for much of the substance of 2020, here it is.

Words, Jesus tells us, matter. Why? Because people listen. Just listen to Sondheim’s “Children Will Listen” from “Into The Woods” and you’ll hear a lovely expression of that very sentiment.

I am often frustrated by the way people use their words so callously and in such a cavalier way as if what they choose to say doesn’t have resonance beyond their lips or their keyboards. What we say, in addition to what we do, matters. It truly does.

Jesus knew this. As a public speaker, a preacher, and a teacher he took seriously the notion that what he said would have an impact on those who listened to him. Would that so many others in our current day and time who are in positions of leadership would have a mindset such as his.

The proliferation of misinformation and the like that has plagued our daily living is going to be a cross we will have to bear for a good many years to come. The freedom that social media has given people to openly insult and degrade people is profoundly unhealthy. The short-sightedness of those who don’t consider what their words will do is a danger and a sickness to us all, and I worry about the world in which our young people are living when we don’t give an extra moment’s thought when we express ourselves. That’s a profound reason behind why I left social media in all its forms. It hurt too much to listen.

Words are powerful. Take them seriously. They can be your salvation or your damnation. Choose wisely.


Loving God, grant us the patience and the wisdom to choose our words wisely, reminding us that people do indeed listen.




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