Friday, 22 January 2016

Last Words

Proverbs 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
      "Make sure your words are sweet because you might have to eat them one day." John Osteen.
      I was talking with my son this week and he was feeling sad for one of his friends who had just lost their father in a car accident and his friend was going over the last words that had been spoken between them. My son thanked me for teaching him to make sure our departing words were always kind and full of love. Prov. 16:24 Pleasant words are honey from a honeycomb — sweet to the soul and healing for the body. 
      This lesson was made real to me one afternoon at work when one of the managers I knew within the building I worked from was going out to lunch and I said to him, "See you later," and he jokingly said, "Not if I see you first." I smiled and said "Love you man" in that hardy har type of voice. This conversation was ordinary and even flippant and not much thought was taken to the things said until I found out later that day that he had died at lunchtime of a heart attack. His last words to me no longer mattered because he was no longer here, but my last words did matter because I had to live with them and I was grateful that my last words had been, "Love you man." Even though they had been said in jest, they were my last words none the less.
      How many husbands and wives wish they could take back some of the hurtful, selfish, or mean words that were said in order to wound the other's heart and soul? How many last words to parents or siblings should not have been uttered because of the life lasting bruises they created? Prov. 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. 
      There is a reason why God admonishes us to make sure we are not going to bed with anger and angry words in our heart toward our spouse. Don't go to bed angry with words of death ready to bust out at the slightest provocation. Eph. 4:26 And "don't sin by letting anger control you." Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil. What if your spouse were to pass away during the night? Would the rest of your life be haunted with a twinge of guilt that the devil could bring up regularly to accuse you? 
      Was the last sound that came from your teenager a slamming door and a barrage of acrimonious slander toward God and man? After years of no communication over a stupid argument, how many parents would now put up with a tattoo or two and a ring here and there just to have their son back in right standing with the family? No saints, these are not happy thoughts. These things are going on all over and all the time. The Lord is the only one with the right answer for these sad cases. Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
      I know there are varying reasons for all the mayhem in families and friendships gone bad these days, but how much of the shrapnel flying about is the result of the last words said to one another? Maybe if we had tucked our pride away - just for a moment - and not spewed the hurting words, we would be living happier lives. Instead of spending the majority of our lives trying to repair broken relationships, we would actually be fulfilled because of loving relationships. 
      I will paraphrase the prodigal son's last words to his father. "Give me my money and get out of the way, I'm going to do it my way." Luke 15:16 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate I have coming to me.’ So he distributed the assets to them. 
      We all know the story of how this brat came to himself when he was coveting the pig food the pigs were eating. The son said (paraphrased), "I've messed up royally, and I need to go home and apologize to my father who has always been good and fair to me." Luke 15:18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 
      Why was he able to go back? Because his father had not used the self-righteousness card when he had the right and the chance to do it. The father had remained a loving father who kept his last words sweet toward his son who was shaming him publicly. What courage and fortitude it took for the father to see his son through the eyes of God. We too are so fortunate to have a loving heavenly Father with kind words for us.
      At the end of the day, are our last words to God the Father sometimes stout and arrogant? I hope not. God's thoughts and words toward us are words of love and encouragement. Jer. 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 
      Maybe it is time to pick up the phone, write, email or face time that family member who is estranged because of poorly chosen words in the heat of the argument. Maybe it is time to be righteous, rather than right. 
      I know you can do it because Jesus' last words were a promise of power that would come from the Holy Spirit upon us to do what it will take to get the love of God filling the earth. So, I know you can call those who are hurt and make your words as sweet as the love of God so they will come home. Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

1 comment:

  1. This has been on my heart for a very long time. Thank you for this good word.