Fall is finally here and with it the harvest. There are many kinds of harvests. One of them happens, not in the fall, but because of the fall, the fall of man into sin. Words are like seeds. Once spoken they are planted in the hearts of the hearer. They too produce a harvest. Words can be a harvest of blessing but unloving words produce a harvest of hurt.
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 stone 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 harsh words stop bu itnever made me feel better. Why? Because words do hurt, and I have the scars to prove it. Sadly the worst scars that I have from harsh words spoken came from adults not from unwise children.
In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul basically says that we can speak truth, be very religious, very generous, very “right” in our words and actions but if we have acted with any other agenda than love, all our actions are empty and all our words are hollow. What does this 1 Corinthians type love look like?
Paul says it is patient and is kind not envious. This kind of love is not puffed up or rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. It is not glad about injustice but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
We may speak lovingly with good intentions but if we do not follow through our words are nothing 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.
Telling someone the truth is powerful and though it is many times good, it can also be harmful when spoken without love. 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.
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? They can’t be unheard, but they can be forgiven. We can learn to think more carefully about what we say before we say it and when we don’t to always ask for forgiveness first from God and then from the one we have hurt.
At the top of my Thanksgiving list this year is “Thankfulness for Romans 5:20b-21.” ‘…but where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more, so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’” -Net Bible
When I confess, He can and does cover the bad harvests that I sometimes reap from the rash and many times harsh comments I have made. With His grace and goodness, He is able through the power of His Holy Spirit to help me change and grow even at 62. He can help you too.