By Hannah Henderson
There are ample biblical scriptures that teach on the power of words. They are used to bless and to curse (KJV James 2:8-9). The sin of taking God's name in vain is committed with words (Exodus 20:7). In Matthew 5:33-37, Jesus warned against swearing which is done by words. Finally, in Matthew 12:36-37, Jesus said, "...every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."
Honoring the God of heaven and earth in everyday conversation is something that everyone can easily do whether they are a Christian or not. Such honor certainly doesn't take the place of salvation; but, it does show respect for God which affects society as a whole in a positive way. Years ago, many people in the United States who didn't claim to be Christian, had respect and honor for God in various ways. Merchants didn't sell alcoholic beverages on Sunday. People didn't curse while in a church nor in the presence of a minister. Most Americans were proud of the national anthem which includes the phrase "God bless America" in reference to the God of the Holy Bible. Millions of students willingly pledged allegiance to the flag of this "one nation under God".
How can one honor God with simple words in a practical way in everyday conversation? What advantage would such behavior have? Most believers are quite timid to witness Christ to others and will find that the simple honor of him in ordinary speech opens doors to speak of the Savior in a subtle and gentle, but powerful way. Those who are not Christian may simply choose to honor their Creator in a sincere manner and thus, let others know of their adherence to most Christian values.
The Bible gives a very simple method for reverencing the Lord in day to day speech. People often speak of their plans to do various things. They converse about their plans to go to college, to marry and start a family, to start a business, to buy a home or car, to throw a party, to go on vacation, and a host of other things that are common to the pursuit of happiness and success in life.
God's word reminds man that as he's making his plans, he should remember that he will not do or see any of them if the Lord doesn't allow him. He will not even be alive if God doesn't permit. Therefore, he owes his Creator honor when mentioning future plans since the future is not promised to him. Man reverences the Lord when he says: "I'll go to college next year, God willing", "we'll marry next month, if God wills", or "I'll be opening a new store, if God is willing."
Is the giving of such honor to God actually scriptural? Yes, it is. In fact, to consciously refuse to honor God once one has come into the knowledge of how to reverence him, is sin. The scripture of James 4:13-17 says, "go to now, ye that say, today or tomorrow we will go into such a city and continue there a year, and buy and sell and get again. Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, 'if the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that'. But now ye rejoice in your boastings. All such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin."
Such a practice is actually quite common in other cultures, but nowadays, one who honors God in this way may receive a few strange looks here in America. If, however, he is ashamed of such looks from others, he may do well to remind himself of what Jesus said in Mark 8:38 when he warned that, "whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels".
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