Words are probably one of the most powerful things and yet often we never appreciate the power they hold. It sees to be commonplace to insult people on social media. To fling all manner of insults at others and in extreme cases to make death threats to others online. There also seems to be a common theme of public figures or others then apologizing for the words they used, once it becomes in the public domain. Perhaps it is partly a simple case of being found out (a ritual apology that means little more than “oops I was found out”), but sometimes I suspect that when people actually reread the words they wrote and reflect on them that they are genuinely horrified a tthe words they used.
I remember reading an article about someone who had posted horrendous threats to a politician and they seemed genuinely shocked that their words had been taken seriously and literally. This current social media generation are having their words of many years ago quoted back to them in later life with all manner of consequences.
One of the many things about Jesus is that he was careful with his words. He was blunt and challenging yes, but seemingly thought a lot about what he said. When people tried to trick him or catch him out he was careful and thoughtful with his answers. Jesus’ words also were not hollow or half hearted, he after all lost his life in defence of those words.
Sometimes we can all be challenged to think more carefully about the words we use. The challenge is to genuinely mean the words we say and to say the words we mean, so that we don’t come to regret them.