January 12, 2011

Words and Thoughts

If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. - 1 Peter 4:11

Reading this verse can be a heady thing, right? We're to speak with the very words of God! That's awesome! Everyone will have to listen to me because I'm speaking the words of God.

But I don't quite think that's how it works. Of course if God himself speaks to us we should listen and take note. But there are very few instances when God anoints us with His spirit to such an extent as to render us akin to the prophets of old.

No, I don't think this is what Peter means. What this verse says to me is that we should consider what God would have us say. Would He have us speaking words of doubt, shame, derision or lust? Or would He have us speaking words of faith, hope, love, joy and forgiveness?

Our words come from our thoughts, and we are called to speak the words of God. Thus we must have a thought-life that strives to be pure. I will admit, that part is very hard for me. Most people, by the time they reach adulthood, have mastered the ability to think one thing and say another.And while sometimes it can save our skins to not say what we're thinking, I think the point is that we really must get to a place where we're not even thinking things we wouldn't say in front of our boss, or mother.

Sometimes I wonder what Jesus' thought life was like. Do you think he complained in his mind that the disciples never quite got it? Or about all the thousands of people who came to him day after day? I don't know either, but I do think that even when he was frustrated, he gave it to God, so that it would not come out of his mouth.

So let us attempt to have a pure thought-life, or at least to give to God all those thoughts that are not in accordance with His love. Yes, this will be a livelong endeavor, one which can only happen through the grace of God. Lord, grant us that grace!

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