2 Timothy 2:14-16 Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God's people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out.
Paul urged Timothy to remind the believers not to argue over unimportant details ("fighting over words") or have foolish discussions because such arguments are confusing, useless, and even harmful. False teachers loved to cause strife and divisions by their meaningless quibbling over unimportant details. To explain the word of truth correctly, we must study what the Word of God says so we can understand what it means.
We're hardly surprised when God condemns profane, sinful words, saying they "come from an evil heart" (Matthew 15:18 NLT). But how about the "careless words" you speak without considering their effect on others? If you think He just winks at them, think again! Listen: "Every one… is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning… take them seriously" (Matthew 12:36 TM). Your words create or destroy, discourage or inspire, heal or hurt, so choose yours carefully today!
A wise person said, "Blessed are they who have nothing to say and who can't be persuaded to say it!" Careless words are often the meaningless chatter you engage in when you've nothing important to contribute. As harmless as they seem, the more you do it, the more likely they are to deteriorate into gossip and criticism. The Bible says we should be, "swift to hear, slow to speak" (James 1:19 NKJV). And Solomon adds, "Even fools are thought to be wise when they keep silent" (Proverbs 17:28 NLT). Would you trust someone who has a frivolous comment for everything?
Our verse today says that "pious nitpicking" chips away at the faith, and wears everyone out. Think about that for a moment. My words can either encourage someone who is battling or wear them out. They can either give hope to someone who is struggling in their faith, or cause them to want to give up. Have you ever been around anyone who wants to discuss about everything negative they can think about? Where you try to avoid discussing certain people because they are going to "go off" on them? I have, and it does wear you out! I want my words to be refreshing, not draining today! I want my words to strengthen someone's faith and not weaken it.
So, pause and think about what comes out of your mouth. Would you get more respect and cause less confusion if you kept it closed more often? Or were more discerning about the kinds of stories you tell? Or thought twice before 'shooting from the hip'? David prayed, "May the words of my mouth… be pleasing to You" (Psalm 19:14 NLT). Today make that your prayer too!
"Lord, truly my prayer today is that the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing to you. I want my words to refresh not drain. Please forgive me for my careless use of words at time. It is so easy for my flesh to jump right in and run off with my mouth before I realize that I am speaking "draining" words. Please forgive me, and I will not wear anyone out today by my words, in Jesus' name, amen!"