Colossians 4:6 NKJV
John Grisham, author of blockbuster books that become blockbuster movies, has been called “a straight arrow making his way along a very crooked path.” His novels often depict sleazy lawyers, corrupt politicians, and trigger-happy cops – the underbelly of a world of wealth and respectability. His heroes, on the other hand, are generally the innocent or children, such as the eleven-year-old boy in The Client. Grisham said he would rather be a nice guy than resort to filling his books with sex and gore. He refuses to write anything that would offend or embarrass either his mother or his children. Contrary to what many in the publishing world might have predicted, his approach has paid off big. The Firm now has over twenty million copies in print. So far, the oldest fan to write him is ninety-six years old, the youngest ten years old. Most of his readers commend him for leaving out graphic violence, obscenities, and profanities. The Bible says, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Note the words “seasoned with salt,” or in good taste. Jesus said: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things…every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:34-37 NKJV). So, speak “in good taste.”
Soul food: John 7:37-41; Exo 17:1-7; Isa 35:1-7
Colossians 4:6 NIV
We all know that the words we say have an impact on those around us. If we’re speaking negative words, we can create a negative atmosphere around us. But if we’re speaking truth and positivity, we can encourage others. The Bible tells us to ‘encourage one another and build each other up’ (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV). How we speak to others will determine what sort of relationship we’ll have with them. If people are always rude to us, or lie to us, we’re not likely to stay around long. And it’s the same the other way round. We need to let our conversations with others be ‘always full of grace, seasoned with salt.’ The words we speak come out of how we feel. If we’re struggling with our attitude then we’re probably not going to speak words of life to others. Jesus said: ‘A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of’ (Luke 6:45 NIV). This doesn’t just apply to our words to others. How we speak to, and about, ourselves is really important too. We need to be speaking God’s truth over ourselves. We need to encourage ourselves and show grace to ourselves when we make mistakes. The psalmist wrote: ‘May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer’ (Psalm 19:14 NIV). Are our words pleasing to God? If not, let’s ask Him to help us speak words of encouragement, grace, and truth to those around us, and to ourselves.
John 7:37-41; Exo 17:1-7; Isa 35:1-7
Kolossense 4:6 NLV
John Grisham, die skrywer van topverkoper boeke wat topverkoper films geword het, is al ‘n ‘reguit pyl op ‘n skewe pad,’ genoem. Sy boeke beeld dikwels gewetenlose prokureurs, korrupte politici en bose polisiemanne uit – die onderwêreld van ‘n lewe van rykdom en ordentlikheid. Sy helde, aan die ander kant, is gewoonlik die onskuldiges of kinders, soos die elfjarige seun in sy boek The Client. Grisham het gesê dat hy eerder ‘n goeie mens wil wees as om sy boeke met seks en bloed te vul. Hy weier om enigiets te skryf wat sy ma of sy kinders in die verleentheid sal stel. Baie in die uitgewerswêreld het gedink dat hy sou misluk, maar sy benadering het dividende behaal. The Firm het nou al oor die twintig miljoen kopieë in druk. Tot op datum is die oudste aanhanger wat aan hom geskryf het ses-en-negentig jaar oud, en die jongste tien jaar oud. Die meeste van sy lesers prys hom omdat hy grafiese geweld, obsene tonele en vloektaal vermy. Die Bybel sê: ‘Met woorde wat altyd vriendelik en sinvol is, moet julle gereed staan om die regte antwoord vir elke mens te gee.’ Jou woorde moet in goeie smaak wees. Jesus het gesê: ‘…Waar die hart van vol is, loop die mond van oor. As jy luister na wat iemand sê, sal jy agterkom of sy gesindheid reg is en hy van ‘binne’ skoon is. Juis daarom sê Ek vir julle: mense wat sommer allerhande lelike dinge van ander sê, sal met die finale oordeel hulle woorde voor God moet gaan verduidelik. Wat jy sê, is dus verskriklik belangrik. Immers, op grond van wat jy sê, sal God besluit of jou saak met Hom reg is of nie’ (Matteus 12:34-37 NLV). Praat dus met goeie smaak.
Sielskos: Joh 7:37-41; Eks 17:1-7; Jes 35:1-7
1 John 2:19 NKJV
Every relationship in your life is for a reason and a season. Your commitment to your family should be for a lifetime; other relationships may have term limits. So when someone walks away, don’t try to talk them into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, or staying attached to you. Your destiny is not tied to those who leave you. John writes: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” People leave you because they’re not joined to you. And if they’re not joined to you, you shouldn’t try to make them stay. That doesn’t mean they’re bad people; it just means their part in your story is over. You’ve got to know when a relationship is over, and graciously say goodbye knowing that whatever relationships God means you to have, He will provide. Stop begging them to stay – let them go! Clinging to a relationship whose season has ended will only lead to heartbreak. After Lot left him, Abraham entered a new level of God’s blessing. When Orpah left Naomi and went back home to Moab, Ruth stayed with her, and both Naomi and Ruth were blessed by God. You’ve got to know who belongs in your life and who doesn’t. If you’re holding on to someone who doesn’t belong, and who is not intended to be in your life, the word for you today is – let them go!
Soul food: 1 Kings 10-11; Mark 13:1-11; Ps 82; Prov 12:18-19
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NCV
Friendships are very important in our lives. Friends help us through the tough times, and celebrate with us in the high points. But sometimes our friendships are just for a season. We need to ask for God’s wisdom to know which relationships we need to let go of, and which we need to fight for. When people drift away from us, we can either try and fight for the friendship, or we can let them go. People leave us because they’re not joined to us. And if they’re not joined to us, we shouldn’t try to make them stay. It doesn’t mean they’re bad people; it just means that their part in our story is over (or that our part in their story is over). We need to try and understand when a relationship is over, and graciously let people go, knowing that whatever relationships God means us to have, He’ll provide. Clinging to a relationship when its season has ended will only lead to heartbreak. After Lot left him, Abraham entered a new level of God’s blessing. When Orpah left Naomi and went back home to Moab, Ruth stayed with her, and both Naomi and Ruth were blessed by God. While the end of a friendship or relationship can be upsetting, God can bring new things into our lives and help us to have relationships with new people who can help us along the journey God’s taking us on. We should also consider that continuing the relationship once that season has ended could be holding the other person back from their own journey with God. If we’re holding on to people who don’t belong in our lives, let’s ask God to help us let them go.
1 Kings 10-11; Mark 13:1-11; Ps 82; Prov 12:18-19