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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Necessary Words

“You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”    
Matthew 12:34

My maternal grandparents lived in the hilly woods of North Louisiana. I spent a lot of time with them when I was growing up. My favorite thing to do when I was there was to go sit be the spring near their home. I loved to listen to the gentle flow of the water which flowed continuously. Sometimes I would take a book. Sometimes I would just sit and think. The spring never stopped flowing.

Just like the spring, good, kind, encouraging words should flow continuously from the mouths of Christians.  In our fast-paced society, we neglect to say thanks, write a note of appreciation or encouragement. Regardless of the situation, we should not neglect to say “necessary words.”

How about words that tell others about Jesus? We should never pass up opportunities to tell others how they can have an eternal life through Jesus. How about words that show our forgiveness? “I forgive you,” are three hard words for us to say. Only when our hearts are right are we able to forgive people who have hurt us. As our passage states, words are an overflow of our heart.

We have some old books that belonged to my husband’s great aunt. She had quite a collection. In the front of one of the books, I found this statement: “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect, for I shall not pass this way again.”

I later found out from my pastor, Dr. David Dykes, that this quote was written by Stephen Grellet, a missionary who died in 1855. This quote has really spoken to me. I have learned a good lesson: I must show kindness in my actions and my words at the time of the situation. I may not have time to do it later.  I may never have another opportunity.

If our hearts are full of anger, bitterness, or filth, that’s what will come out of our mouths. If our hearts are filled with Jesus, it will come out in the way we speak.

Georgia Andrus

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