Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. (Ephesians 5:6 NIV)
We Christians owe it to ourselves and to the human race to be above all persons, candid, downright and completely transparent. We must have no truck with fancy, but see to it that our religious talk hugs the facts as tightly as a glove and that our words always have some reality corresponding to them.
Over the years I have been disturbed more than a little by the vague unreality of much that I hear among religious people. This is not a charge of insincerity. I have no doubt of the sincerity of most religious persons. It is the lack of reality that disturbs me. Indeed the gravity of the situation is increased by the very earnestness with which many persons are occupied with unreality.
Religion stands at the top as being among all fields of human interest the one most addicted to words. Nowhere else are there so many words and so few deeds to support them. There is something about a religious gathering, and particularly about a church building, that produces in the worshiper a state of pleasant languor and suspends his critical faculties for the duration of the service. The average Christian goes to church expecting to hear certain words and phrases and the average preacher knows what they are. It does not matter too much in what order they occur, and if they should be spoken with a considerable degree of enthusiasm, so much the better; only let them be familiar and harmless. Nothing more is required or expected.
Father, I cannot control the words of others but I am responsible for my own. Give me increased sensitivity to the use of words that fail to express spiritual reality.
There are words full of meaning, expressing the heart. And there are empty words by which we may deceive ourselves and others. By empty words we may "talk the talk" while not "walking the walk."
Used with permission.