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Too much talk

Friday, December 9, 2005

Matthew 11:15-19
Jesus speaks,

"He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
"To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:

"'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.'

"For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' But wisdom is proved right by her actions."

Not much has changed. Here is how Miriam Cosic put it yesterday in The Australian:

Humans are social animals, hardwired for politics. We instinctively scan groups for the locus of power, work out whether we approve of it or not, then seek to share its benefits or undermine it. Everyone does it, whether we\'re strapping explosive to ourselves, sitting in front of the television bitching about the news or working out how to get out of Christmas with the family.

As the leader, as the powerful one, Jesus spoke clearly, seeking truth with his words. Not everyone uses words this way. Just because words persuade me of something does not mean I am convicted about it. Cosic again:

Our lives have become subject to a constant blare of public argument, advertisement, persuasion, rhetoric without intrinsic meaning or value. All of which is eye-glazingly boring ... Words assault us but leave no mark. People speak in clichés: we know what pre-cut concept they're pointing to, but don't necessarily know what they mean.

I have no business as a Christ-follower using words casually to cajole or persuade. I cannot use clichés or catch-phrases; I dare not bore people with my words. Jesus didn't bore anyone.

Jesus' words always accompanied action; his wisdom was indeed proved right by what happened next. I must live my life like that. Speak softly. Act with power. As Solomon wrote, "God is in heaven, and you are on earth, so let your words be few" (Eccl 5:2).

Father, put a muzzle on my mouth when I speak foolishly. And fill my actions with your Spirit.

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