Links Daily Devotional

Words Matter

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45, ESV)

I observe a lot of golf. It is a huge part of my job as a coach to identify players with games that have solid fundamentals and a trajectory of improvement.

May our treasure be in the Lord. Only from there can we produce good with our words.It is no surprise that I am looking at the way players conducts themselves. How do they interact with volunteers, their playing partners, how do they respond to adversity, an unlucky bounce or lipped out putt? I can’t see inside their hearts or know their thoughts, but I can have a decent idea based on their body language. Slouched shoulders, head up, club throwing, a smile, a fist pump and muttering words—these all can show a glimpse of what is going on internally with the player.

Even though I get to observe a fair amount of actions on the golf course, my favorite time comes when I finally get the chance to converse firsthand with a player. I get to listen to her words and what she says about herself, her golf game, and others.

My devotion last month was about actions, but oh, how words matter too! It might be helpful to tell ourselves that words are actions. Consider: Lying is a function of speech, but when we call a person a “liar,” we are making a statement about their actions. The same is true of gossips, slanderers, and braggarts. All these sad labels say something about how a person behaves.

Now our verse for today makes more sense. Our words come from our heart. There is a saying that golf brings out the “sailor mouth” in everyone. The truth is that what comes out of our mouths was already inside our hearts. We speak, just as we act, from the welfare of our heart.

This means that if we are going to speak well (or act well), we need a heart transformation that comes from the work of the Holy Spirit.

It is not our circumstances (another double bogey!) or what is outside of us (a bad read form our caddie!) that is the problem. No, the problem is in our heart; it’s our sin nature. May we be quick to repent of the sin in our hearts and turn to the Lord and ask for him to fill us with his Spirit! May our treasure be in the Lord. Only from there can we produce good with our words.

The next time you are on the course and are quick to respond to an errant shot or that difficult playing partner, be mindful of the words you say. Our words reveal the state of our heart. James wrote, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless” (James 1:26). Words matter!

Aimee Neff
July 20, 2017
Copyright 2017 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.