Monday, July 5, 2010

1 Samuel 1-3: Words to the Ground

The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. (3:19)

Okay.  That's just not a phrase we use everyday in 21st century America, and I was pretty sure I knew what it meant, but just to be sure I looked it up in my study Bible, which unfortunately doesn't give a lot of guidance on the things I REALLY want to know.  This time it was more helpful.

Samuel's words, my study Bible tells me, "proved reliable," and so he was recognized as a prophet. 

Samuel didn't waste his words.  When he said something, it meant something.  

I'm not a prophet, and I'm not looking to predict what's going to happen next, but I do want my words to mean something, and on my best days, I'd love for it to be said that I don't let my "words fall to the ground."  

In Ephesians 4:29, Paul writes, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." 

I'd add that to the definition given by my study Bible.  What an incredibly difficult task.  Sometimes, even when I don't mean to, my words can be harsh.  

And now I'm going to make this even harder.

When the author of Samuel said "words," he meant the spoken word.  We have so many more ways of "speaking" to people.  We now broadcast our words via written journals, Facebook, email, video, and yes, blogs.  Once fleeting and only meant for people within the sound of our voice, our words now have the power to endure long past the moment they are uttered.  

Lord, let our words glorify your name.  
Help us to build each other up.  
We don't want our words to fall to the ground.  

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