July 04, 2016

Using Our Words

Genesis 25:19-34

Teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

—  Colossians 3:16

Babies cry soon after birth, showing that their lungs are working. As babies grow, they continue to cry when they are hungry, uncomfortable, or have other unmet needs. Eventually most children learn that they can express themselves with words. So some of the first words they learn are “I want!” and “Mine!” Later, to encourage them to explain what they are feeling, parents will also say, “Use your words.”

Our self-centeredness does not diminish with age; it in­ten­sifies, though perhaps more subtly. We become shrewder as we scheme to get what we want. For Jacob, this grasping for more started when he was born. As he grew, he learned to deceive others, and he told more and more lies to get what he wanted.

We see in ourselves and in ­others around us the same craving for more. More things, more power, more fame—the list goes on. When and where will it end? St. Augustine learned this truth: “You have made us for yourself [Lord], and our hearts are restless till they find rest in you” (Confessions).

God has given us the great gift of language and speaking. Let’s use our mouths not for self-gratification but in singing and voicing our gratitude to our Savior and Lord. And let’s use our words to share the good news of Jesus to our family and neighbors whenever we can.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for giving us the ability to speak. May we use it not for our own gain but for your glory. Amen.

About the author — Jimmy Tai-On Lin

Rev. Jimmy Lin is the Chinese ministry leader of The Back to God Hour. With his staff in Palos Heights and Hong Kong, Rev. Lin has ministered to over 1.3 billion Chinese-speaking people around the world for 16 years through radio, literature, CD/DVD, Internet, and text message. His wife, Doris, is one of the translators of Today into the Chinese language, which now has a circulation of more than 45,000 copies.

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