Five days a week, millions of children attend school were teachers and professors use words to teach them about that day’s lesson. Each week, pastors deliver, with words, sermons and messages designed to teach their congregations valuable lessons from the Bible. In workplaces around the world, words are used to teach new employees their jobs, and old employees new aspects of their long-held position. Self consciously or not, we all evaluate these teachers. Our decision on whether we like their teaching method and style is influenced not only by what they teach, but how they teach it.
As discussed in a previous lesson, Jesus was always talking, using words to teach others the truth of salvation and the truth of what was written in the Scriptures. Compare the way He taught, with the way the Pharisees taught. (Matthew 23)
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” (Matthew 23:13, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29, ESV) “Woe to you, blind guides.” (Matthew 23:16, ESV)
“Woe to you, [self-righteous] scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you give a tenth (tithe) of your mint and dill and cumin [focusing on minor matters], and have neglected the weightier [more important moral and spiritual] provisions of the Law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the [primary] things you ought to have done without neglecting the others. You [spiritually] blind guides, who strain out a gnat [consuming yourselves with miniscule matters] and swallow a camel [ignoring and violating God’s precepts]! (Matthew 23:23-24, AMP)
Jesus was calm and patient. He welcomed the downtrodden, the poor, the young, and the old. He turned no one away – not even the Pharisees! He was willing to enter their homes, become one of them. He taught all who sought learn. The Pharisees set themselves apart, criticized anyone who was not able to live up to the impossible rules they had determined must be followed. They encouraged violence against those who spoke out against them, preferring a hardened murder be loose on the streets than one who opposed their teachings. (Matthew 27:15-26)
In some way, all our words are used to teach a lesson, but what the lesson is depends on the words we speak and how we speak them. On the popular television show, The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon Cooper is the know-it-all of his group. And he is usually right, but the way he goes about sharing his knowledge makes his friends wish he was wrong. There are many people like this in real life. They may have the answers and know the solution, but they are arrogant and condescending, making others feel bad for their lack of knowledge instead of joyfully sharing that knowledge through teaching.
Our words have an impact, and that way they are said has an even greater impact!
Words have power! Words have the power to create! Words have the power to deceive and manipulate! Words have power in silence! Words should be used carefully! Words reflect our heart! Words have the power to instruct! Words have the power to teach!
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