Tag Archives: words matter

The Donkey In The Well

When I was a senior in high school, I went on my first mission trip. We drove deep into the heart of Mexico. At one point, we turned off the road into a dry creek bed. We drove down that creek bed for about twenty minutes and then we arrived in a small village to build a church. The people seemed to come out of nowhere to greet us. At one point, they took us to a deep well and told us about how a donkey had fallen in there and died. It took them several days to get it out, but by then the water had been polluted. They had to empty the well so they could get fresh, clean water again. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that story.

Proverbs 20:5 tells us that wisdom and counsel are deep within us like a well and that people of understanding will be able to draw them out. Then in Luke 6:45, Jesus said that we speak out of the abundance of our heart, meaning the things that are deep inside us come out of our mouth. Then in James 3:12, the author writes, “Is it possible that fresh and bitter water can flow out of the same spring? So neither can a bitter spring produce fresh water” (TPT). He’s talking about our words and how we speak. How can we speak words of healing if we are full of bitterness inside? How can we speak life if there our inner well is polluted?

Each one of us have donkeys that fall into our well and die causing our heart to be polluted. The words we speak to others reveal whether we’ve taken it out and refreshed our well or not. I’ve learned that we empty our polluted well by confessing our sins, faults and inner struggles to God and to others (James 5:16). We confess them to God for forgiveness and to people for healing. When’s the last time you looked deep into the well that you’re drawing out of? What kind of water are you giving other people? Take some time today to get alone with God, do some self examination and get healed so that you can produce fresh, clean water that others can drink from.

Photo by Maria Krasnova on Unsplash

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Your Words Matter

When I was the general manager of a store, I had to handle upset customers almost every day. I learned that my response to their anger could either diffuse the situation or escalate it. Many times I said the wrong thing or used the wrong tone and it was like pouring gas on a fire. One person got so upset with me that they came behind the counter, out their finger in my face and said, “You better call 9-1-1, you’re going to need them!” It was a scary moment, but as I looked back, my response is what triggered that emotion in them.

Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. (NLT)” How we respond to others who are upset matters. Since the inventions of email, text messaging and social media, we have begun to say things to other people we never would have 15 years ago. We feel emboldened to say whatever comes to mind because we aren’t right in front of that person and in many cases we barely know them if at all. We escalate situations by our unfiltered, typed words instead of being worried if our conversation is leading them toward the cross or away from it.

I cringe as I read Christian’s comments on social media regarding the things of the world. I see escalated conversations by those who write with their emotions instead of having eternity in mind. Colossians 4:5-6 tells us, “Live wisely among those who are unbelievers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. (NLT)” The word gracious here means pleasant and winsome. We are to win others to the cross with our words not push them away.

Your words matter whether spoken or written. You have the opportunity to deflect an anger from those in the world or to dump fire on their anger. The world will never agree with the message of the cross because it stands opposed to the human way of life. It has been under attack for over 2,000 years and will continue to be under attack until the Lord returns. Jesus should be our model of how to respond. When the Romans crucified Jesus, his response wasn’t to argue with them. It was to forgive them. His response to an angry crowd who were killing him was, “Father forgive them.” He won over one guard who killed Him by how He responded. 

I keep that in mind any time there is a flare up on social media between the world and the Church. If I don’t have the right response, I keep my comments to myself. Proverbs 17:28 says, “Even a fool is considered wise when he keeps his mouth shut.” If what I have to say doesn’t lead someone to the cross and instead pushes them away from it, I’d rather not say anything. We are to live wisely in a world of unbelievers. Our conversation should lead them to salvation. People are watching what you post and how you live. Are your words leading others to the cross or away from it? Your words matter.

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