Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Worthless Talk

Words, words, words. We talk a lot but say very little. We have a rich language but we limit ourselves to a communication that expresses practically nothing. Everyone has a FaceBook, many have blogs and we fill cyber space with lots of information, telling people what we are eating, wearing and doing but nothing that would reveal much about our hearts. These days we seem to be into shock and destroy. We use our words as weapons, containing very little value, their purpose to wound as deeply as possible. We also have a lot of useless conversations.

In the Church we major on the minor, risking salvation over methods of worship or evangelistic approach. We concentrate on what someone has or has not done and we are slow with forgiveness. We use our words to keep a person buried in their sin instead of assisting to restore them to Jesus. Words are powerful and important and should be filled with grace. We should also walk away from any conversation that does not add to us or someone else. Run away from the conversations that rob us or someone else:

Keep away from worthless and useless talk. It only leads people farther away from God. That sort of talk is like a sore that won’t heal. (2 Timothy 2:16-17)

It seems this was a problem in the early Church as Paul wrote about it often. It was caused by people who were teaching about things they knew nothing about. It seems Paul encouraged them to stick to the basics when testifying about Jesus:

Keep your mind on Jesus Christ! He was from the family of David and was raised from death, just as my good news says. (v. 8)

There are a lot of wonderful things about Jesus beyond the cross and the empty tomb but not everyone should presume to be teachers. Many things of speculation are passed on as certain truth. Churches have been split over disputable matters. You and I probably would not agree on a lot of things but the basics are for certain. It is crazy that we would allow such things to divide and weaken us.

We have a job to do and we have to stop allowing words to distract us. There are people dying every day while we discuss things that will have no impact on their salvation. I am not saying that sound doctrine is not important  but we need to make a distinction between the foundation matters and the things that divide us. I don't really care where you stand on the tribulation, as long as Jesus is Lord and we love and serve him with our entire being. We share the same Father, same King, same Spirit and the same mission. Nothing else matters and nothing else should be permitted to get in our way.

Too many of us have too much theology and not enough practicality. Too many of us spend hours in study and nothing in sharing the good news. Too many of us are too concerned about our own salvation and not concerned for others. Paul said he would gladly give up all he had with Jesus if it would lead to the salvation of his people. Do we have that level of passion for what Jesus told us to do? He did not tell us to go build schools or churches in his name, he told us to make disciples. How do we do that? Just like he did. Let's keep away from worthless and useless talk.

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