Shut the Hell Up!

 In Pastor Jeff's Blog

And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. – James 3:6

We hear millions of words throughout life, but it’s the ones that break our hearts or build us up that stick with us. A cutting remark can leave us bleeding for a lifetime. A well-timed word of encouragement can sustain us through difficult days. Words have power.

What haunts me are the words I’ve spoken that I know have wounded people I love. Things have flown out of my mouth and left me wondering, “Where did that come from?”

James actually answers that question. Those words come from hell itself! If we want our words to bless others, we need to shut the hell up. Or, to be more precise, we need the grace of God to do it for us.

St. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.” (4:29) I love that verse, but I find it challenging to live out. I need help, and so do you.

So, let me invite you to join me in shutting the hell up this week. Jesus said that the words we speak come from the overflow of our heart, so let’s pray daily, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.”

And then, just for good measure, let’s pray these words from Psalm 141, “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.”

If you’re as tired of the ugly and divisive rhetoric of our public discourse as I am, then let’s be the change we want to see. Let’s shut the hell up, and let loose words that bless and build up.

Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

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  • Nicholas Sovell

    One of my Favorite sermons last week. Was going to write you a thank you note before you talked saving about thank you notes 🙂

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