Words

Hosea 14:1-2 “Return, O Israel, to the Lord you GOD. Your sins have been your downfall. Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.

There is no question in my mind that my sins are my downfall. For some reason in my mind I see my sins as actions I have done or am thinking about doing, but this passage from Hosea has caught my attention when it comes to my sins. Hosea says to “Take words with you and return to the Lord.”

I recall from my childhood the saying, Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. As I say this a few times I wonder… what was I thinking? Of course sticks and stones may break my bones, but guess what? Words can hurt long after the scars from sticks and stones have disappeared.

Hosea goes on to say “Forgive us all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.” Fruit of our lips… is that what you perceive as what others hear as the words from your mouth? As I think over what I have said to others in anger, in fear, in doubt, and even behind someone’s back I realize the words from my mouth (these sins) have been my downfall and I need to take these words with me, that is hold them in my heart and realize they were and are wrong… and return to the Lord my GOD.

Hosea ends his book with the following 14:9 “Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them."

As we go out today and through the rest of the week may we all, you and I, listen to what we say, and work on turning our hurt filled words into an offering of fruit to those around us.

Precious Father, Loving GOD, Holy Spirit I pray for grace and compassion to listen to those around without reacting in worry or fear. And when I return words to those around me, help me to return words of love, and support, and forgiveness. AMEN!

Jim Dietvorst
 


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