Harvesting our Words


Fall is finally here and with it the harvest. Words are like seeds. Once spoken they are planted in the hearts of the hearer. They too produce a harvest.

 I remember running to my mom crying, just a little girl hurting inside, crying because of ugly words. I was broken hearted by caustic remarks. My mother, taught me a little rhyme that she had used as a child: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

I can’t tell you how many times I used that little taunt. It did make the words stop. But words do hurt and I have the scars to prove it.

In 1 Corinthians 13:1 Paul says, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” NET Bible   In chapter two, verses 6-8, Paul goes on to give a great commentary on words He says, “If I don’t address you plainly with some insight or truth or proclamation or teaching, what help am I to you? If musical instruments—flutes, say, or harps—aren’t played so that each note is distinct and in tune, how will anyone be able to catch the melody and enjoy the music? If the trumpet call can’t be distinguished, will anyone show up for the battle?"The Message

We may speak lovingly with good intentions but if we do not follow through our words arenothing more than lies.  Lies are like weeds. They are good for choking out the things we hope to grow in the hearts of our children. Saying one thing and doing another is never loving in the end.

Truth is powerful and can be dangerous. A knife in the hand of surgeon saves lives, in the hands of a murderer it takes them. Paul warns us in Ephesians 4:15 that truth is best served on the platter of love.

Children are listening.They often believe blindly what they hear and many times repeat it. Let’s speak the truth in love even in our daily conversations. We don’t want to end up like the parents who saw their son shaking hands with the pastor after service. Seeing that he was very adamant about what he was telling the pastor they became concerned that he might have told a bit of gossip.

The lad was out of sight by the time they were able to greet the pastor. Shaking his hand, the father said, “Parson, please disregard whatever our son might have told you. He has a bad habit of repeating whatever he hears.”

Catching up to their son, they asked what he had said to their pastor. His reply, “I told him what you said, Pa, how that was absolutely the worst sermon I had ever heard.”

Words can’t be erased or unheard from the heart. Paul tells us in Galatians 6 that God is not mocked. Whatever we sow is what we will reap.  What will we harvest from the words we’ve spoken this year?

Suzi Ciliberti works for Christar, a Missions Agency that plants churches among least-reached Asians worldwide. She served in Japan for two years as a single missionary and another nine with her husband and two children, then the family returned to the states. She and her husband have been serving in the US Mobilization Center since 2000. As a part of the Member Care Department, Suzi is consultant to families with children. She has been working as a children’s teacher since she was 17 and began her training under Child Evangelism Fellowship. She has taught in the church, as a school teacher for two years in a Christian elementary school, and as a speaker for adults training to work with children. She has also trained children, who are a part of families that work overseas, in their identity in Christ. She brings 44 years of teaching experience to her work. She loves creative writing as well as teaching and has found great fulfillment in combining the two as she blogs for Heartprints. She finds it a great privilege and joy to serve the Lord and His people. One of her favorite verses is Deuteronomy 4:10b, "Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children."