Matthew R. Perry

Calling Cards, iPods, and the Worth of Words, Part II: A Lesson from the iPod

In Uncategorized on July 18, 2008 at 3:00 am

(This sermon was preached on Sunday, July 13, 2008 at Boone’s Creek Baptist Church, Lexington, KY. To listen to the sermon in its entirety, click here. To read Part I, click here.)

On occasion, you may see someone walking down the street with a very small device that is used to listen to music called an iPod. In fact, I have an iPod right here — it’s a small one called an iPod shuffle that holds 1 GB worth of files. I have songs and sermons on this that I listen to while walking or in my car. What makes iPods so distinct?

If you take a look at one, you will notice the simplicity of the layout. Mine is silver with one big button on the front that includes the play/pause button. Simple. In his book, Simple Church, Thom Rainer observes how certain companies such as Apple, Google, Papa John’s, and Southwest Airlines are part of a trend:

Simple is in. Complexity is out. Out of style at least. Ironically, people are hungry for simple because the world has become much more complex. The amount of information accessible to us is continually increasing. … The result is a complicated world with complex and busy lives. And, in the midst of complexity, people want to find simplicity. They long for it, seek it, pay for it, even dream of it. Simple is in. Simple works. People respond to simple.

If that is the case with our culture at large, should this not also be the case with us as Christians in regards to our speech? In the first portion of verse 37, Jesus says, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’ Why is Jesus making this point?

Your character should be such a model of truthfulness, you won’t need the stack of Bibles or your momma’s grave or even feel the need to swear to God Himself. Your character will be such that when you speak, they know that you are speaking the truth. You won’t need to lace your conversation with extraneous comments so people will take you credibly.

God gave King Solomon great wisdom. In Ecclesiastes 5:1-7, we read some helpful wisdom for today:

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. [2] Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. [3] For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words.

[4] When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no plea sure in fools. Pay what you vow. [5] It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. [6] Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? [7] For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear.

You see, the number of words does not equate to wisdom and devotion. “Let your words be few.” Words are precious, so when we speak, we should make them count.

Dan Doriani is a pastor in Missouri who gives us a helpful illustration. Suppose you say to your child on Thursday evening, “If you help me clean the yard tonight, I’ll take you for ice cream on Sunday. The child immediately replies, “Do you promise?” What is this question? It’s questioning the credibility of the dad. Maybe the dad let the child down previously. Yet, whatever the reason, there is a check in the child’s mind that the Dad will come through.

Take a mental inventory of what you say. How do you use your speech? Do we use our speech to honor God’s good truth and character, or do we use our speech to be thought of greatly by men?

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