Blessing Instead of Bleeping
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 81:1-17 | 2 Chronicles 30:1 – 31:21 | Romans 15:1-22 | Proverbs 20:13-15
Today’s Scripture Focus: Romans 15
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13 NIV).
There seems to be a whole lot of bleeping going on these days. You know that high-pitched bleep that somehow tries to cover over certain words—curses, mostly (but you don’t have to be a lip reader to know what is being covered over). In the movies or on cable or the internet, we get the full effect of the curse in all of it’s glory (or lack thereof). Of course, what should we expect from the mouths of a world that is living under the curse?
There’s a lot of cursing going on in the church too, but we don’t bleep ours. Our cursing is more sophisticated and less crass. But it is just as hurtful (maybe even more so). Instead of blessing one another, we curse when our lips wound and hurt one another—It may be more subtle, but it is still a curse.
Every malicious word, every tasty snippet of gossip, every venomous, sarcastic comment (humor is great, but even some humor wounds), every word that is judgmental, every hasty, angry word: each one, a curse. Sometimes the wound comes not from what is said, but how it is said. Even the way we handle a prayer request can become a curse instead of a blessing (don’t allow those prayer chain calls to turn into opportunities for gossip). Instead of blessing people with encouraging, helpful words, we are so quick to demean and criticize. James says this is hypocrisy at it’s worst and has no place in the life of a Christian: “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:10).
Our social media feeds are filled with it too. Words filled with contempt. Angry words. Slanderous, malicious, untruthful words. Name calling. Words that seek to divide and conquer–to tear down rather than build up. This is not the way of Christ. These things, too, ought not to be so.
Paul knew the debilitating effects of curses and he made a point of blessing the people he was ministering to. It’s a wonderful part of ministry—a ministry we can all be a part of. We see two of his blessings in this passage. You might want to make them part of your prayer language. I often use them in praying for others. They always bring a blessing:
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:5-6, NIV).
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13, NIV).
I am praying these blessings for you today, Receive them (meditate on them and pray them for yourself. Receive them in faith)… I trust that the God of hope will give you a joyful, peaceful, hope-filled day! Now that you’ve been blessed…go bless somebody else.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Amen. (Romans 15:13, NIV).