From the Pulpit: Lives, trust should be placed with God

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 3, 2006

When it comes to words, we come to one of the deepest encounters between God and us. We see our words as our personal possessions, and we are free to say or do whatever we want with them.

The Bible places high value on words, and not just because it is a book of words. Words are the fundamental expression of who God is. God spoke the worlds into existence. God names. God calls. God gives his word- and keeps it. Both God and the whole universe live and die by God&8217;s words.

What the Bible reveals about the words is that they flow directly from our hearts. Nearly all religious people know &8220;cussing&8221; is not a virtue though don&8217;t know the reason why.

It goes back to what James goes on the say about tongues, &8220;With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God.&8221; God created words as a gift of shared community, with God and one another alike. When we use words to belittle, curse and attack others, we attack God, who created all.

Words are so important because they reveal the condition and direction of our hearts. They are like the heartbeat of our soul. So, it does not take a lot to realize that the hearts of our world are not in good shape. Just as heart disease is a leading cause of death, the illness of the human heart is killing the world.

The interesting point that James makes is that the world still holds creative possibility. With our words we choose the direction of our lives. Every time we speak we either make our self healthier or sicker. We steer our lives into deeper despair of self obsession, or make a movement toward love, freedom and the Kingdom of God. Words have this kind of power because they come from God.

The point is to have as healthy of a heart as possible, and the words we use and choose are both indicators of how healthy our hearts and the exercise we get to them that way.

But it would be a mistake to put all our confidence in our hearts, any more than thinking that the right diet can keep us alive forever. Ultimately, the hearts that beat in our chests and the hearts that beat in our deepest selves borrow their lives from God who spoke our lives into existence. The deepest need of all is to entrust our hearts to the faithful love that comes from the very heart of God.

The Bible and our own experience tell us that human are at best honest but incredibly fallible. At worst, they are confused, proud, angry, fickle and even murderous. The human heart can, in short, be very, very sick and wounded. Sometimes we are just honestly sick at heart. Hearts break, hearts lose their way. Our words in such moments may be honest as when we blast with our true feelings. But neither our hearts nor our words are trustworthy in moments.

That&8217;s why the call is finally to put our trust not in ourselves or even what our own hearts tell us but in the words that come from God, the words that tell us we really need a heart doctor because both the pride and the despair we feel in our hearts are equally wrong.

The God of all words has spoken but the truth about our sins and truths about his faithful love in arrival of Jesus Christ, and this word is sure. Our words of rage, despair, hatred and disbelief are mistaken. Hearts are healed. The world is being saved and its time to spread the word.

Robert Montgomery is the preaching minister at Cahaba Valley Church