Three little boys were bragging about their fathers. In the course of the dialogue the content turned to the quantity and depth of their dads’ knowledge. The first boy said, “My Dad’s so smart he can talk about any subject for one hour.” The second said, “My Dad’s so smart he can talk about any subject for two hours.” Playing the proverbial trump card, the third boy stated, “My Dad is so smart he can talk for three hours—and he doesn’t even need a subject!”
Tragically much of what we say is like the description of the third father—a bunch of “something about nothing.” The world is full of words that have no redeeming value. If the airwaves could speak in unison, they would testify to the abundance of purposeless rhetoric. Feeling strangely compelled to communicate, Christians are not immune. We often blurt out words with little substance. I’m warned by what Proverbs 13:16 says: “Every prudent man acts out of knowledge, but a fool exposes his folly” or, “Irresponsible talk makes a real mess of things” (v. 17, The Message).
However, as believers we do have something to say, which is far different from having to say something. We have a message we’re commanded to address to three audiences.
First, we have something to say to ourselves. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:2). We’re to remind ourselves to renew our minds for transformation. Have you reminded yourself of who you are in Christ? Do me a favor. Stick a Post-it on your heart that reads, “Be Transformed!” You are biblically commanded to talk to yourself about such things.
Second, we have something to say to one another. Many Scripture verses affirm that we are to spur one another on in the faith. “But encourage one another day after day … so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:13, NASB). When was the last time the word of Christ was so rich within you that it burst forth in affirmation of a brother or sister in Christ? We need lots of in-house encouragement. As my teenage granddaugher would say, “Encouragement rocks!”
Third, we have something to say to a dark, lost world. That message, of course, is the revelation of God as displayed in the Cross of Christ. To some, this message will change their lives. To others, it will cause them to scamper further into the darkness. As Plato said, “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” Yet we are still called to speak of His light. When was the last time you spoke of God’s hope?
Someday, somewhere, three little boys will speak of us. Hopefully our subject matter will be worth repeating. In the midst of the communicative chaos, we do have something to say to ourselves, to one another, and to those outside the family of God. I suggest we start today.
About the Contributors
Charles R. Swindoll has devoted his life to the accurate, practical teaching and application of God’s Word and His grace. A pastor at heart, Chuck has served as the founder and senior pastor-teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. His leadership as president and now chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary has helped prepare and equip a new generation for ministry. Chuck and his wife Cynthia, have four grown children, ten grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.