January 30, 2011

Empty words

Homer once said that “words empty as the wind are best left unsaid.” (Greek poet presumed author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, 9th-8th century BC)

How often do we, as Christians, hide behind words that sound right but do nothing to address the true condition of our heart or the heart of the one hearing what we are saying? Words that are meant to help only add to the hurt.

Proverbs 25:11 (NIV) A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

Empty words that are spoken reflect their lack of value in the speaker’s heart. If these words hold no value to the one who speaks them, then they will have no value for the listener.

Words that are empty offer a hollow comfort to the heart that is aching. Empty platitudes, instead of bringing relief, will add to the hurt, the anger and the grief.

Empty words come sometimes because we don’t take time to think of how our words sound to those that are grieving. Our choice of words fall short even though wrapped in good intentions.

Yet there are other empty words that we hide behind. They sound “right” and are said at all the “right” moments but our heart knows that they are mere platitudes because there is no life behind them.

Behind our words is a shallow shell that has forgotten the power of His Presence.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want empty words; words that have no effect. I want my words to reflect the life I find in Him.

The life within my spirit must be maintained by the study of the word and prayer. It is daily submitting to the searchlight of the Holy Spirit. It means coming before Him as a child, not wise in my own eyes. It is realizing that His grace is sufficient and when I am weak, He is strong.

Saint Augustine said “Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.”
We bring our needy heart to Him and we receive and partake of what God offers to us. We cannot give out that which we don’t have.

Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Acts 3:6 (NIV)
It is the power of His Presence that gives life to our words. Let not our life be one of empty words that are like the wind and better left unsaid.

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