As a teacher/counselor/minister, words are the conduit through which I do what God has called me to do. But there are so many words coming at me during the course of a day that I get overwhelmed. Emails, blog posts, texts, newscasts, snail mail…because of shear volume, these words start to matter less and less.
When our words don’t matter, campaign speeches become rhetoric, rather than commitment. Weddings become ceremonies rather than solemn promises. Court testimony becomes “so-help-me,” rather than “so-help-me-God.”
Numbers chapter 30 points out that our words matter and are to be binding, not vacillating. We should not throw around words loosely. As the saying goes, we should say what we mean, and mean what we say.
There’s a vivid example of this in Judges chapter 11. There, a man named Jephthah vows that if God will give him success, he will sacrifice the first thing that comes out of his house to meet him on his return. God grants Jephthah success, but on his return, the first thing that comes out of the house to meet him is his daughter. His one and only child! Both father and daughter know that the vow, though rash, was binding and both submit to carrying out the vow.
In our day and age, this story is considered barbaric at worst and politically incorrect at best. No one would be expected to keep that vow. But the story points out that God demands integrity and honesty in our words. He expects our word to be good, for He knows we’re only as good as our word.
So, don’t let your words become cheap. Back them up with action. Make them count. Your words matter!