“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'” — Romans 10:14-15
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Some sports commentators are superstars. Stephen A. Smith speaks clearly with incredible energy and is always convincing with his well-reasoned arguments about the strengths and weaknesses of various individuals and teams. If we close ours eyes and listen, we still know Stephen A. is speaking because we recognize his strong northern accent and his serious tone. We also immediately recognize Charles Barkley with his humor and southern accent.
When we speak, our accents are not as important as the words we say. Some voices are high, low or medium, but the type of words we speak sends a specific message. Are our words good and helpful? Do we speak with kindness? Do we apply the Golden Rule when we speak? Do we consider how we would feel if someone said to us what we just said to them?
If a person cooks on a grill, they use a controlled fire for good. We all understand the difference between a nourishing meal provided by the heat of the flame and an out-of-control wildfire. In Scripture, a loose tongue is compared to a wildfire. “The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell” (James 3:5-6).
Though we can repent when we say the wrong things and God forgives, we need to use our mouths to build up others with wonderful words. If we speak about the glorious Gospel, then we use our tongues to share the greatest gift. “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'” (Romans 10:14-15).
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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