The Power of Blessing
Pastor Phillip O’Reilly
“For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” [Matthew 12:37]
Fair warning: This message is not an easy one to digest. It ruffles our feathers and makes us feel uncomfortable. Which is usually what happens when we know we’re not meeting God’s expectations. So, take a deep breath, and be ready to be challenged.
From a young age many of us learned the adage “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”. However, that could not be further from the truth. Words have weight. They are heavy and important and they matter.
Often times, we make words lighter than they are. We take away their importance by “just kidding” and saying how much we “didn’t really mean it”. But the truth is that the words that we use are a direct reflection of what is happening in our hearts. That’s the part that’s hard to digest.
Our words open a window to our hearts, and sometimes what we see is less than pretty. Sometimes what we see is ugly and damaging and hateful. We blame our words on bad moods or bad traffic or a slip of the tongue. But, circumstance does not fill our hearts, it reveals our hearts. Ouch.
So, what if we just owned it? What if we just became reflective instead of making excuses? What if we decided to actively listen to our words and intentionally chose to change our hearts? And what if we took that a step further?
More than just listening to our own words, we need to listen to the words we don’t say. The times we didn’t tell our children how proud we are. The times we didn’t tell our spouse how much they are loved. The times we didn’t thank our parents for putting up with us. Or the times we didn’t say anything, but thought a lot of unkindness.
God hears both words we do say and words we don’t – good or bad. And we are told over and over again to spread love and kindness with our words, even when we don’t feel like it, or even when we don’t think it’s necessary. In 1 Peter 3:8-12, we are literally told to “say nothing evil or hurtful; Snub evil and cultivate good”.
The thing is – this world is dark and broken and there can never be too much kindness, and there can never be too many blessings we put onto others. And to do this – to really spread love like we’re called – means we have to get our hearts right.
That’s part of being the Light. That’s part of following Jesus. That’s part of living like this is not our Home.