Updated: May 11, 2021
As we continue the month of the Power of Words, I want to take you back to a phrase I am sure you have heard at least once in your life, “actions speak louder than words”. Remember when you were forced to say I am sorry? Did you use the deep monster growl voice while saying it or did you say it with a sarcastic grin on your face the entire time? Unfortunately, I have done both of those things. Being a child or teenager wasn’t and isn’t always easy. Honestly, I could not stand it when an adult told me, “say sorry like you mean it!”—when I didn’t. Truth is my actions were speaking louder than “my sorry”. As an adult though, I find now it is the in-actions that speak the loudest.
Recently, I read the book of 1 Samuel. In the third chapter, there is a story of in-actions causing downfall and death. There was a priest named Eli that cared for young Samuel. Eli had two sons that were using their position of power over the people in a way that caused the Lord to reject them. (Side Note: Be careful in ministry how you treat those that God has put under your care.) This is a big deal because traditionally the priest’s sons would carry on the priesthood. Eli confronted his two sons but nothing more than that and they continued with their behavior. The Bible then says that the Lord spoke to young Samuel about this situation.
1 Samuel 3:13 ESV
“And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them.”
Wow, iniquity (sin) that you know about, but you don’t speak out against AND restrain — can cause your house (family, job, friends, church) to fall. I think we have all been in a place just like Eli. We say something but then stop at that or we keep saying something but to the wrong people. We say “a lot of words”, but we never try to restrain the problem. Yes, words are powerful, but we need to be able to do more than just talk. There is a follow through process so that our words mean things. The story does not end well for Eli and his two sons, however this is the place in the Bible where we see Samuel established as a prophet. I love what it says about Samuel at the end of chapter 3.
1 Samuel 3:19
“And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.”
That’s exactly what I want said about me. Today, I hope we can each get to a place in life where we can replace the name Samuel in (1 Samuel 3:19) — with our own name.