September 2022: Words are Powerful

Bonnie WohllebenPastor's Blog

Rev. Donny Haywood

“Words are the most powerful thing in the universe… Words are containers. They contain faith, or fear, and they produce after their kind.” — Charles Capps

I’ve noticed, and more so lately, that people don’t think through what they say to others. I think people feel like their right to express themselves doesn’t have boundaries. This week, a pastor friend called out someone who had said some hateful things. And he made a joke about it to keep it light. He was then berated relentlessly by people from everywhere. The last thing I read was a man telling him that he was a sorry excuse for a Christian and that he would burn in hell.

Couple things bother me:
First, why was this person so angry? What event or events in his life caused him to unleash on another human that way?
And second, where does he feel the authority to cast someone into hell?

I think it’s all a little over the top. Have we completely lost our sense of decency? Who else’s mom told them, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Or, “treat others as you wish to be treated.” I remember an unspoken decorum for conversation. If you have a problem, get with the person and be rational. Even scripture tells us in Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Have we lost our minds?

Next, he was going to hell. Friends, fortunately that’s not up to us. it’s above our pay grade. As humans, we allow emotions to dictate many of our responses. And, that’s not a good thing. We tend to not look at the whole picture objectively. Besides, God didn’t call us, ordain us, ask us, command us, or implore us to cast judgment on our neighbor. In Matthew 22:37-40, we read Jesus declared, “ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Jesus summed up what our attitudes and actions should be in 4 short sentences.

So, I’m asking you to think before you speak. Once it’s said, it can’t be taken back. And the damage is done.


In His service,
Pastor Donny