Blessed… From Good Treasure

“Either consider the tree good and its fruit good, or consider the tree rotten and its fruit rotten. A tree is known by its fruit. Children of snakes! How can you speak good things while you are evil? What fills the heart comes out of the mouth. Good people bring out good things from their good treasure. But evil people bring out evil things from their evil treasure. I tell you that people will have to answer on Judgment Day for every useless word they speak. By your words you will be either judged innocent or condemned as guilty” (Matthew 12:33-37, Common English Bible).

“Good people bring out good things from their good treasure.” I love that sentence. I’m not so crazy about the next two. “But evil people bring out evil things from their evil treasure. I tell you that people will have to answer on Judgment Day for every useless word they speak.”

I find that last sentence at least a little bit frightening. I know that, without question, I have hurt people in my life by some of the things that I say. Sometimes, in employee-supervisor relationships it is necessary. The truth must be spoken, even if that truth is painful to hear.

At other times I have hurt people because I wasn’t very mindful of what I was saying. A statement is made without thinking. All too often, pain is the result. A rift becomes present in the relationship. Apologies become necessary. Sometimes, despite everyone’s best efforts, the relationship never returns to where it had been before. It all happens because of a careless attitude toward someone else.

Then there are the other times. These are the times when I just don’t care. I make hurtful statements. I know they are hurtful and yet I say them anyway. There must be malice in my heart for the way I am treating another human being. I am not acting like a child of God and I certainly am not treating the other person as if they are a child of God.

And if all these times aren’t scary enough, Jesus says, “…people will have to answer on Judgment Day for every useless word they speak.” I will have to answer for every useless word I speak. In the course of a day how many things do I say that really don’t matter? How many things do I say that do not build people up and instead hurt and tear them down?

And, according to our lesson, I will be held accountable for all those things. Why would that be? Well, at the most basic of levels, when we are hurtful and speaking useless words, we are being less than loving toward neighbor and if we are less than loving toward a neighbor we can see, we also are acting less than loving toward a God we cannot see. And, for both there has to be accountability.

That is the bad news. The good news actually comes from our lesson yesterday. Verse 31 reads, “Therefore, I tell you that people will be forgiven for every sin and insult to God.” I need to seek forgiveness from the neighbor I have hurt and from the God who I fail when I fail to act and speak with love.

What are you doing to get rid of the useless words from your life?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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