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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Andy Stanley » Andy Stanley - Look Who's Talking

Andy Stanley - Look Who's Talking

Andy Stanley - Look Who's Talking
TOPICS: The Weight of Your Words

So today, I want to begin with, this is just my opinion, which you don't come for my opinion, but this part's just my opinion. I wanna begin with what I think is the most important, one of the most important, one of the most catalytic relational dynamics that goes under the radar, that's pretty much, I feel like sometimes overlooked by humankind. So one of the most important catalytic relational dynamics that is at play every single day in our lives and most of our conversations, but we're not aware of it. So I want to surface it, make you aware of it, because this is a game changer when we can keep this front and center.

So here it is. I made this up. It's a little clunky, and I'm gonna read it twice, and then I'm gonna talk about it. And it's basically this idea. The relationship you have with others is rarely the same relationship they have with you. The relationship. I see the confusion. I know, I'm gonna go slow, okay? And I was trying to figure out how to make this clear, but anyway, I'm gonna illustrate in a minute. The relationship that you have with others, all the people in your life, is rarely, sometimes it's the same, but it's rarely the same relationship they have with you. In other words, you are in a relationship with a lot of people, but it's rarely the same relationship.

And I, the best way to illustrate it is parent/child relationship. For those of you with little kids, or if you've raised little kids, you get this. Your child, especially when they're young, your child does not have the same relationship with you that you have with your child because you have a relationship with a child. Your child has a relationship with an adult. Those are two very different relationships. Your child, you have a relationship with someone who is a hundred percent dependent on you. Your child has a relationship with someone who holds all the cards until about 13, and then the cards start getting all mixed up and dealt around, and things become confusing, right?

This is why we never really get our parents until we become a parent. You have to be in a relationship with your child to understand what it was like to be your parent in a relationship with you when you were a child. It's only when you become a parent that you feel what they felt, experienced what they experienced, feared what they feared, were concerned about the things they were concerned about. This is why most of us, when we, you know, in young adult age or adulthood, we go back and apologize to our parents, right? Like, I had no idea. I owe you the biggest apology. But we didn't know. It wasn't that there was something wrong with us. Until you're in that role, until you're walking in those shoes, you really don't, you don't really understand it. Because you're in a relationship with your child, but it's not the same relationship. And this dynamic is true for most of your relationships. And it's true for most of my relationships.

And as obvious as this is, and we're gonna give you some, And I'm gonna give you some more illustrations. As obvious as this is, we rarely take it into consideration in our communication. We rarely take it into consideration with the words that we choose. Another illustration. At work, you are in a relationship with your employer. You're in a relationship with your employees, but it's not the same relationship. Everybody's friendly, but you know better than to think you're actual friends because there's an inequality. And this is true, again, of most relationships. Older brother, younger brother, older sister, younger sister, older brother, younger sister. Even in family, there is an inequality. Because there's an inequality, it's a relationship, it's just not the same relationship. There's an inequality. There's an inequality whenever one party is dependent upon or needs the other.

Now to be clear, equal value, everybody's of equal value in the relationship, but there's unequal power, influence, and authority. And when this is the case, it means you're in a relationship with someone, but it's not the same relationship. And this baked-in relational reality, and this is not a problem to solve. This is just an is. This is just a tension to manage and to recognize it, as we're gonna see in a few minutes. This is a tension we should all figure out how to leverage in a positive and powerful way. But this baked-in relational reality should govern and I guess, inform how we talk to each other. And specifically, it should influence the words we choose. We will come back to that in just a minute.

Today, if you have not been tracking along with us, or if you have, we are actually in part two of a series entitled "The Weight of Your Words". "The Weight of Your Words". And if you have ever been crushed by someone's words, you get this, and you know what we're talking about. Words carry weight. They can leave a mark for good or for bad. They can inspire, they can build, or they can destroy. They can wound, right? I mean, we have all been on the receiving end of words that have built us up. We've all been on the receiving end of words that have torn us down, left us wondering, taken away our confidence. I'm so proud of you. You embarrassed me tonight. I wouldn't miss it for the world. You're not needed here anymore. We've all been on both sides of things like that, haven't we?

In fact, some of those phrases are emotional for you, maybe something recently. That's the power of words. Here I am reading words on a screen that reflects something someone has said to you, and suddenly it's very personal, it's very emotional. Our lives, I don't need to convince you of this, but our lives have been shaped by the words spoken to us, over us, and at times, we feel like words spoken at us. This is true for our childhood. It's true right now for some of you in your marriages. You are dealing with wounds and carrying wounds, and your spouse has said, "I'm just telling the truth. I'm just being honest".

We talked about that last time. And you're like, yeah, you're just being honest, but you're killing me with the weight of your words. Words inflate or deflate our confidence. With the words spoken to us or at us or over us, it impacts who we see in the mirror, right? And here's the thing, and here's where we make a turn. While we are quick to acknowledge the fact that people's words spoken to us over us and at us have impacted our lives and our childhood, and again, who we see in the mirror. We're quick to recognize that. I don't have to convince you of that. What we are not so quick to recognize, what we're often slow to recognize, and here's the point of today's few minutes together. And what we are slow to take responsibility for is how our words land and impact others, which should bother all of us, right? But it should bother a specific group of us more.

Those of us who consider ourselves Jesus followers, the idea that our words have the potential to wound, that our words have the potential to undermine somebody's confidence or to undermine someone's self-esteem, or to inflict a scar that they carry with the rest of their lives. That potential with our words should really bother us. And of all people, we should take responsibility for our words. And here's why. The Apostle Paul comes along and teases out Jesus' new covenant, command to love as he loved us, to love as God through Christ loved us, and he teases it out. And the apostle Paul says throughout his letters, "Hey, we're one another people".

That's what Christians are supposed to be. We're one another. We are supposed to make decisions and choose words and respond in such a way that the person on the other side of us, the one another, actually benefits by being in a relationship with us or being on the other side of us. We're supposed to encourage one another and honor one another and forgive one another and carry one another's burdens. We are supposed to sacrifice for the sake of the benefit of other people, which means our words matter. And we are more responsible than the average person for leveraging our words in such a way that our words build people up. These kinds of words, as we're gonna talk about, should characterize us.

So we have to take responsibility for our words. Now, real quick, if you're, if you're not a Jesus follower, if you're not a Christian, or maybe you used to be, and you kind of hit the eject button, and you're out, isn't it true that you may be more curious if the Christians you knew had been more cautious with their words? Well, isn't it true that you may be more curious or maybe more open to leaning in or rediscovering the faith that you grew up in or grew up with if the Christians around you had been, had used their words in a different way as it relates to you, and not just to you, but the people that you love the most.

So in this series, we're talking about three dynamics that are at work in every conversation. And regardless of your faith, tradition, or regardless of whether or not you even have faith, this is gonna be super, super helpful because these three dynamics are, they're weaving their way into every conversation we have. These three dynamics actually determine what people hear regardless of what we actually say. And here's the thing, this is why we should be good at this. We have all been on the receiving end of all three of these dynamics, which means this should be easy for us, because you know, we should be able to keep it front and center, but we don't.

So the last time we were together, we talked about the first one of these dynamics, and the first one is simply this, that words are not equally weighted. In other words, all words don't weigh the same. And specifically, negative words weigh way more than positive words. So we talked about proportion control, right? Not just portion control, proportion control. The proportion of positives to negatives is a really big deal in relationships. And if we want to have the kind of relationship and influence with people where they're able to hear the hard things, and sometimes the negative things, we need to load up on the positive. Because whether we like it or not, whether we think it's fair or not, it's very difficult for people to hear the negative if all they get is negative. And if it's hard for people to hear the negative, if it's the one-to-one correlation between positive and negative, that words don't weigh the same, and negative words weigh way more than positive.

So we talked about that last time. So today, I wanna talk about the second dynamic. And the second one is this. The source determines weight. Source determines weight. The weight of a word is determined ultimately by the source of the word, the who said behind the what said. So let me give you a couple illustrations. So ladies, imagine, and many of you don't have to imagine this, those of you who are moms don't have to imagine this. You decide to meet one of your girlfriends during your lunch break for lunch, or maybe you meet one of your girlfriends for coffee, and they get there early, and you walk in, and your girlfriend looks up at you, looks at you, and says, "Wow, you look great. I mean, that outfit, I mean, you look, you look great. You look so young".

Well, I mean that's, yeah, I mean, those are, those are five pound words. Thank you. Right? Now imagine that afternoon you're at home, and your 15 year old daughter walks through, and she does a double take. And she says, "Mom, that, you look great. That, what you're wearing, you look so young, we could be sisters". And then she turns around and runs off to her room. Now I know what some of you are thinking. You're thinking, I don't have that much imagination. You used it all up. Because Andy, come on. Let's be honest. If the resurrection of Jesus is here, that would come in somewhere, you know? And what makes the difference? The location?

Now, you know, the words at home weigh more than words then. No, no, no, it's not the location, it's not the words. I mean, five pound words become 50 pound words, depending on who's using those words. Not because of where, because of who. Another illustration, my administrative assistant, Diane Grant, has worked with me for over 25 years, which means she either needs a standing ovation or a long vacation, or both. But anyway, worked for me for 25 years. So she knows me well, and we're able to communicate so well. And you know, it's a great working relationship. And every once in a while, when I need to go deliver some negative information or some negative news to an employee, she'll say, "Remember. Remember, your words weigh a lot". Sometimes, every once in a while she'll say this, "Andy, Andy, I think you should let me tell her. I think you should let me tell him. My words don't weigh as much".

Now here's the question. Why does she have to say remember? she shouldn't have to tell me remember. I'm the expert. I'm up here dishing all this out. I got the notes and the screens. I mean, I put this whole talk together. Nobody needs to tell me to remember something, and I'm up here telling you to remember, right? wrong. Do you know why she tells me to remember? Because I forget. Because when I see the people that I work with, you know who I see? I see coworkers, I see peers, I see friends. Who do they see? They see the boss. It's very different. We're in a relationship. It is not the same relationship. So to tease this out a little bit, okay, it kinda looks like this. Source determines weight. Weight determines impact, and impact determines outcome. The source of the words determines the weight of the word. The weight determines the impact, how it lands, and the impact ultimately in most cases determines the outcome.

Now, if you're into physics, just ignore this. I realize this, I'm messing with your categories, okay? But you get what I'm saying in terms of the flow of communications. Now, I'm often asked, and this may sound strange for me to talk about myself for just a second, but I'm often asked in leadership context, especially with business leaders or ministry leaders, you know, and we're doing Q and A. "Hey, Andy". There's three questions I always get, and this is always one. "How do you handle conflict"? Or "How do you handle criticism? How do you handle criticism"? And my first response is, "What criticism"? I mean, who would criticize a pastor? I mean, I'm sort of beyond. People don't know, okay, that not true.

And so here's what I always say. I say, well, it depends on where the criticism's coming from, right? Because source determines weight. Social media criticism, here's what I do. I take screenshots of the best ones. I have a folder on my phone that says Andy haters, and I put 'em in there. And when I'm having dinner with my kids, I pull 'em out, and I read 'em to my kids. I'm not making this up. In fact, I brought a couple just to, you know, so we can all laugh along. These are a little old. The newer ones are like, woo. But anyway, so these are, these are a couple years old. Okay, here's one. At Andy Stanley, you are a false teacher. The Lord has a nice warm place waiting for you on judgment day. Wow. Did you send that? No. Okay, yeah.

This next one is from a pastor, okay? I probably shouldn't even have told you that, okay? And, but he's trying, he's trying to be somewhat fair. With all due respect, this is my favorite part, you're a false prophet from Satan's hell, and if you don't repent, when you die and lift up your eyes, in hell-fire you will be. I know. Okay. Okay, no pity. Does that hurt my feelings? No, these people don't know me. I mean, this is, I share these with my kids, and we got some zingers. There, I mean, there's some amazing ones, okay? But the point is that I, this doesn't bother me, not because I'm so mature, it's because of the source.

Now, if I were to walk into our board meeting, you know, we have a board that I answer to, they could meet this afternoon and fire me. You know, if I was at a board meeting, and one of 'em said, Andy, I need to say something, and they reeled off one of these, I'm like, okay, we gotta talk. I mean, that's like, Sandra, pray hard. You know, I'm on the edge, you know, I mean that. Why? Because source determines weight. Source determines weight. And source determines weight, not just with a negative.

This is what I want you to get today. Source determines weight with the positives as well. And this is why this is so important, which means that I'm gonna tease this out a little bit more in a minute so you can take this home, which means every single one of you, those of you watching, those of you, wherever you are in the world, and regardless if you're a Christian or regardless of your faith tradition, this is an all skate. Every single one of you has unique potential to leverage the weight of your words in specific relationships. And if you get this right, you make other people better. If you were to ask Sandra what the moment where she felt most affirmed in her role as a mom, she would tell you about a short exchange she had with her dad years ago.

And last night we were having dinner, and I told her I was gonna share this story. I asked her, "Can I share this story"? I said, "It's already in my notes. So it would really help if you said yes". She said "Yes," and I went over it with her just to make sure I got the details right. And we both got emotional. So she's downstairs, Andrew's 30 years old now, so then he was in a high chair, and she's downstairs early one morning, and her parents had just spent the night with us. She's down there by herself, and she's got him in the high chair, and she's doing the, you know, the poke and swipe, the poke it in, swipe the bottom lip, poke, is that what you call it? Something like that. Anyway, she's got that thing going on. Her dad comes downstairs, her dad is a man of few words, incredible man, but, you know, sits down quietly, waits, watches. And then he says to her, and I quote, "You are a really good mom".

Now, just to brag on my wife, okay, there were more epic and interesting and affirming mother moments than poke and swipe early in the morning when getting mush into Andrew's face, okay? I mean, and to be honest, even bad mothers feed their babies, okay? So this isn't like, whoa, you're feeding your baby. Oh my gosh, you are like, no, right? That's the point. That's the whole point. It wasn't what. It was who. I mean, she homeschooled our kids for 10 years, okay? She taught 'em to read, she taught 'em math. She can remember algebraic expressions. She'd bungee jump. She learned to knit 'cause Alli wanted to learn to knit. Then Alli didn't want to knit, but she'd already learned, she did all that. No complaining. On one Christmas, one of our boys gave her spinners for the minivan.

You remember spinners that you put on the wheel, and she just feigned gratitude, like, "Oh my gosh, it's what I've always wanted". She's looking at me like, "Will these go on the minivan"? I'm like, mm-mm, they don't go on the minivan. She took 'em to Homeschool Day at Six Flags year after year after year. That's a real thing, Homeschool Day at Six Flags. And I learned, I never went 'cause she's a way better parent than me. And I had to work that day. What day is it? Oh yeah, gotta work. Anyway, as much as I want to go to Homeschool Day at Six Flags, the lines were really short with all the roller coasters. Not because, you know, there were fewer kids, but because on average, homeschoolers aren't that brave.

Anyway, so they, sorry, homeschool kids. Anyway, so the point is, if we wanted to like, put everything she's done as a fabulous mom on the wall, there's so much to brag about, but you ask her, that's the moment, because source determines weight. Now, so what do we do with that? I mean, that's just true. And nobody's gonna argue with that. But imagine, just for a moment, I'm gonna give you a specific application. Imagine if we remember that everywhere we went in every conversation, anytime you realize I have a little bit of a unique advantage, I have a little bit of a unique relationship. We're in a relationship. It's not the same relationship. Who am I? Imagine what we could do. Imagine what you could do. The power of your words.

So here's the application. Remember, because we forget. Remember. Remember who you are and what you represent to the person on the other side of you. It's just remember who you are and what you represent to the person on the other side of you. And in any relationship where you have any advantage, positionally, relationally, even financially, you have a unique opportunity because your words carry additional weight. And I would just want to encourage you to leverage that opportunity every chance you get, leverage your weighty words to encourage, and to build, and to direct, and to protect. And real quick, I wanna say something to all the middle school and high school students who are in the room, one of the rooms with us or are watching or listening.

This is so important. Look up here. And whatever you're doing, just put it down for just a second, okay? Look, when it comes to your parents, look up here, you have no idea. You play a unique role in the lives of your parents. Your words weigh more than you'll ever understand. And you know what else? Your words weigh more as it relates to your younger brother and your younger sister than you'll ever understand. In fact, the reason your parents get onto you all the time about be nice to your younger brother, be nice to your younger sister. They understand the power of your words, and you don't, and it's not your fault. It's not your fault.

So that's why I'm reminding you. I understand your younger brother and your younger sister, to you, they're like a gnat. Why are they even in the room, right? But the reason they hover, and the reason they spin, is because you play a unique role. And you will either use this time, this fleeting opportunity to do something amazing in the lives of your younger brothers and sisters, or you're gonna miss it. And I wanna challenge you to be the unique middle schooler or the unique high schooler, and take advantage of that. And not just your brothers and sisters, your parents as well. And you know what? Your words to the lives of your parents, they weigh 500 pounds for positive or for negative. You have the power with your words, when it relates, as it relates to your parents, you have the power to crush or to encourage.

Quick story. Years ago, when President Obama was elected for the first, his first term, I got a call from his administration to come be a part of the festivities in the National Cathedral, the service they have after the inauguration. Some of you remember that. And you may not know this, you may wanna write this down. See, I don't know if you know this, but politics is not an emotionally neutral topic. Poli, I should put that on the screen. Politics is not an emotion. So when I got invited, I thought, "Wow, what a privilege". I was completely shocked. And I thought, "Wow, what an incredible opportunity to get go to the National Cathedral, all these famous people, and I get to read this thing that was written, was read when George Washington was inaugurated".

I mean, it's just, but I realize if I do this, there's gonna be people that are like, yeah, he's one of us. And other people are like, no, he's one of them. And you know, it just, you know, so Andrew, our oldest, again, we're driving home, I remember what road we were on. I had just gotten this invitation the day before. I gotta let him know what I'm gonna do. And I said to him, I said, "Andrew," he was 15. I said, "Andrew, hey, you know, I'm getting invited to do this thing, but some people are gonna be upset, some people are gonna be too excited. You know, it's divisive. It could be, you know". And so I'm just trying to figure out what to do. And he said something I'll never forget.

And my point is, students, you have no idea the weight of your words with your parents. He said to me, he said, "Dad, if God brought this opportunity along, don't you think you should take it regardless of what other people think"? It's like, it's like the peer pressure talk from your, for grownups from the teenager, said, "Dad, don't give into peer pressure". It's like, okay, so you know, I went ahead and did it and you know, and then the whole thing turned out great. But the point is I'll never forget that. Why? Because his wor, I mean, you know, staff and an opinion, everybody's got an opinion. But my 15 year old son, I'm like, goodness.

So the point is, whether it's at home or at school, or at work or in the neighborhood, remember, remember who you are, and remember what you represent to the person on the other side of you. One more quick illustration, mom and dad, this is so important. When you walk into your child's room to deliver some bad news, all right? When you walk into your child's room to deliver some not so good news, you see somebody who knows better and who needs to do better, but who do they see? They see the person whose approval they want more than anything else in the world. It's not the same relationship. You have a relationship, but it's not the same relationship. Who we are and what we represent, should determine what we say, the words we choose. Because who we are and what we represent determines the weight of our words.

Now, so far, this has been great advice and a lousy sermon, right? In fact, some of you are like, if this is your first time, it's like, is this like positive thinking church? I've heard that's what it is. No, so far, good advice. So if we just stopped right here, I wanna say to all of those of you of a different faith tradition who are not Christian, not a religious person, please just, you don't need to listen to the rest of this, but listen, you need to do that. Imagine our nation would be a much more pleasant place if all of us would leverage our words with the idea of building the person up, of the person on the other side of us, of building them up and encouraging them, right?

But for Christians, but for Christians, the stakes are even higher. For, if you're a Jesus follower or claim to be a Christian, this is not optional. This isn't an add-on. This isn't like, oh, this will make me a better person, and I want you to hear me. And this isn't a ploy to leverage, you know, in somebody's life to get what you want from them. I'm just gonna add more and more positive words, leverage the positive so I get what I want. This is not that. This is not a strategy for getting what you want. We are obligated as Jesus followers to get this right, because we have a responsibility. We have a responsibility because we have been commanded by our savior to love others the way that God through Christ has loved them, which includes the words that we use. We've been commanded to leverage our words with the benefit of the other person in mind.

Now, last week we teased out this passage. I'm just gonna read it to you real quick and keep moving. But again, this isn't optional for us. The Apostle Paul taking again, Jesus' new covenant, marching orders to love as God through Christ has loved us. And he says, here's what it looks like with the words that you choose. And he says, "Do not". It's a command. And he says, "Do not let any unwholesome," or any stinky word, "come out of your mouths, but only words that are good for building others up". In other words, he says every conversation's a construction site, every conversation's a construction site. And you're either gonna use your words to build or to tear down. He says, so you choose your words to build others up according to not your needs, according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

And why must we do this? Why is this important? Just so, hey, well if you do this, you're just gonna get along. No, that's not the reason. The reason if you're a Jesus follower or a Christian, you have to get this right, is because you don't represent yourself. You're not just a representative of yourself. For us, the application has a twist. You know, the application for everybody is remember who you are and what you represent to the person on the other side of you. If you're a Jesus follower, if you're a Christian, there's a twist. And here's the twist. Remember who you are and who you represent to the person on the other side of you. And who are you? You're more than the employer. You're more than the manager. You're more than the employee. You're more than the neighbor. You're more than just a parent. You're more than just the older brother. You're more than just the older sister. You're a follower of Jesus. And to use Jesus' words, you are, this is so amazing. "You are the salt of the entire earth".

So our words should do what salt does, preserve and protect, preserve and protect. Never harm, never undermine. He says there's more. And not only that. "You are the light of the world". Our words should bring light and life to every single person we meet. Our words should bring light and life to the people on the other side of us. And then Jesus doubles down in case we didn't get it. He says, so here's what you need to do. Since you're the light of the world, I want you to do something with it. You've read this passage before. Don't put it under a bushel, don't put it under a clay jar. He says, no, I want you to leverage your light. I want you to think about who's on the other side of you. And I want you to let your light shine before others that they might see ultimately how you live your life, and connect the dots between how you live and what you say and who you worship and who you follow.

I want you to let your light shine in such a way that they might see and hear and connect the dots between why you say what you say, why you could possess, why you communicate the attitude that you do and the care that you do, and who you follow, and who you worship, to leverage who you are and what you represent to the person on the other side of you. To leverage who you are and who you represent to the person on the other side of you. To use those weighty words to build and to encourage. It's not just an opportunity for us. It's actually our responsibility. Imagine, just imagine for a moment. Imagine the influence that the church would have in the community and the church would have in the world if we'd just gotten this one thing right?

Imagine the influence. And to be clear, for those of you who aren't Christians, hear me out. Not influence so we could take over and have control and have more people on our team, uh-uh. Because our king said this, "I did not come to be served. I came to serve, and I came to give my life as a ransom for many". But imagine with taking on the attitude of Christ, as Paul talks about, the mindset of Christ. Imagine what that mindset, imagine if for the last 50 years or the last 20 years or the last 10 years, if Jesus followers had embraced this posture, when they thought about what they were saying, how they were saying it, and the words they chose to the people on the other side of them. Imagine. Imagine where our country would be. Imagine where the world would be. This is what we have been invited to.

Listen, I don't, I'm not exaggerating. It was that posture and it was that attitude that changed the world once, that changed the world for the better. Once. Imagine if that had been our track record. Do you know what we would hear? We would hear things like this.

"Those Christians, ha, those Christians, they believe some strange stuff, but I gotta be honest, they are the most encouraging people I've ever met. In fact, even even when they say hard things, even when they say hard things, you just can't help but believe they really have your best interest in mind. Even when they say some of that goofy stuff, it's like, gosh, I, you just, it's hard to hate these people. It really is. Because I think even though they're wrong, I think they are genuine, and they're sincere. And when I'm in trouble, that's who I call. And when my family hit a bump, we're not even church people. And they were there. And my neighbor, he's a Christian, and he came over, and he confronted me, and he was getting all up in my face, and I was about to, you know, and I realized he really cares about me. He didn't have to come over here and say this. He really cares about me and my family. 'Cause all my other friends are saying, 'Oh, it's none of my business. It's none of my business.' But these crazy Christians. I'm not sure I could ever believe what they believe, but I don't have a doubt that they believe it".

Let's do that. When we don't get this right, Paul tells us what it looks like, what it sounds like. When we don't get this right, we lose the right to be heard. We're neither salt, we're not light, we're not preserving anything, we're not protecting anything. We're just having our way in the world. And Paul says, do you know what you sound like when you do that? I don't care if you have perfect theology, perfect theology. I don't care if you have the clearest picture of God of anyone in the world. I don't care if you can diagram the entire New Testament and you've memorized it in English and in Greek. I don't care. If you don't get this right, do you know what your words are to your, in your community, and to the lives of the people around you? Do you know what the people at work actually hear? He says it's a resounding gong. And I thought about bringing one up here, but it is so loud and obnoxious. And a clanging symbol.

He says, if love isn't driving your words, if concern for other people isn't the filter through which your words pass, if you are not there to build them up, then just shut up because you're doing more harm than good. If you're not a Christian, chances are it was the reckless un-Christlike words of Christians that either drove you away or keep you away, or the reckless un-Christlike words of Christians spoken to someone you love that drove you away or keep you away. That for the reason you decided to leave faith. And if that's the case, I am so sorry, and I hope that you will look past us and beyond us to Jesus, who, and you're gonna love this, if you're not a Christian, you're gonna love this. To look past us to Jesus, who reserved his harshest words for religious people who were careless with their words toward the people he loved.

So for all of us, let's remember. I forget. Let's remember who you are and remember what you represent to the person on the other side of you. And if you're a Christian, remember who you are and who you represent to the person on the other side of you. Remember to take you into account because the source of a word determines the weight of the word, and the weight determines the impact. And ultimately, the impact determines the outcome. So leverage your words accordingly. This is just one more thing that love requires of us, and we will pick it up right there next time in part three of "The Weight of Your Words".
Are you Human?:*