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Sunday, January 9, 2011

God's Faithfulness, and Proper Uses of Words

This morning in church I was struck again with something that's been a large part of my worship experience since I wandered deep into the Old Testament last year. The thing that keeps coming to my mind is God's faithfulness to His people over the course of many centuries. He has never given up on us, He has continued to love us, all the way from the fall of Adam through Noah and Abraham and Joseph and Moses, through Godly leaders and through unGodly leaders, through our faithfulness and our apostasy, on and on through thousands of years of time, right up to now. God is still faithful to His people. It gets me every time!

Pastor touched a couple of times on the power of words, and he mentioned this passage:
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
(Matthew 5:21-22 ESV)
In context, Jesus was taking a number of serious transgressions of the Law (lust, divorce, breaking an oath, etc.) and saying that once the deed is done in your heart, it's as sinful as if you had done it for real. In this case, though, Jesus is basically saying that if you speak out to someone in anger, it is tantamount to murdering them. And I got to thinking about my relationship with my kids.

Are there any parents in existence who don't ever get frustrated and angry with their kids? I doubt it! Kids are kids... they haven't learned how to act like adults yet, and they haven't become as emotionally and mentally mature as their parents (hopefully) have, and sometimes we see blossoming in them things that we once struggled with and finally defeated. Emotionally it's like finally clearing your yard of dandelions, and then the next day waking up to see the whole yard yellow again. I certainly know that I've raised my voice to my children in anger before! I try to be very careful when correcting my children, and always tell them that even if they've done something stupid (messing with something that could hurt them, going somewhere dangerous, etc.) it doesn't mean that they are stupid... it means that their actions were stupid, even though they are both very smart kids. But I wonder if raising my voice to them in anger actually really does kill something inside of them. I don't want to be the murderer of any part of my children; I'll be reevaluating how I communicate with them in those kinds of situations. I think God can teach me how to always be someone who heals and reconciles and never someone who kills with my words.

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