The Power of Words: Break Free from Empty Promises and Discover Meaning in Christ's Living Word

Mar 13, 2024 – Midweek Lenten # 4 | Psalm 41:6

The Power of Words

In Psalm 41, David reflects on the impact of empty words. He acknowledges that when people speak empty words to us, they may seem appealing, important, and true in the moment. Ultimately, empty words lack substance, truth, commitment, and endurance. As Americans, we have become accustomed to this pattern of using empty words in our everyday conversations with friends and strangers alike.

The Deception of Empty Words

We often find ourselves using empty words without even realizing it. Phrases like "How are you?", "I'm fine", or "I hope you have a good day" have become standard speech, but do they truly hold meaning? 

Even when we say "I will pray for you", how long do we actually remember and follow through with our commitment? The lack of memory associated with these phrases suggests a certain emptiness.

Solomon wisely admonished us to let our words be few, recognizing that many of our conversational phrases hold little significance. Similarly, James encouraged us to be slow to speak and cautioned us against allowing our words to ignite destructive conversations, comparing them to forest fires.

The Prevalence of Empty Words in Advertising and Politics

In addition to using empty words ourselves, we are constantly bombarded by empty words through advertising and politics. We see them on every flat surface, hear them on the radio, and even wear them on our clothes. 

Advertising has become so prevalent in our lives that we often fail to notice the empty words embedded within it. The promises made by politicians have also lost their credibility, serving as mere entertainment rather than a reflection of genuine policy.

Even personal promises, such as those made in marriages, families, relationships, and long-term commitments, have lost their value. The latest wave of emotion often dictates our actions, causing us to overlook the enduring nature of our commitments. Empty words, filled with false urgency, have become the norm.

The Empty Words that Surrounded Jesus

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the embodiment of God's Living Word, experienced the impact of empty words throughout His life. The devil, with his empty and deceitful words, tempted Jesus in the Garden of Eden and during His ministry. 

Peter, despite his earnest intentions, also spoke empty words when he pledged his loyalty to Jesus but eventually denied Him. Even other disciples, including Judas Iscariot, joined in the chorus of empty words that led to Jesus' crucifixion.

Meaning in Christ's Living Word

When we were baptized into Christ, we were cleansed not only from the sins of empty words and evil deeds but also relocated to a place where words truly matter—the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints. Here, the words we speak have significance once again. 

You can find solace in the fact that Jesus, too, prayed the words of lament and betrayal before us. He understands the pain and heartbreak that empty words can cause, and He took it upon Himself to redeem us from their betrayal.

While empty promises may surround us, we must strive to move beyond them. Let us remember the power of words and choose them wisely, ensuring they hold meaning, truth, and commitment. By embracing the true living words of Christ, we can find solace, strength, and the ability to navigate the treacherous waters of empty promises.

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