(Jesus said) "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12
Last summer I was at a birthday party for my three-year-old niece.
She was surrounded by bows, boxes and gifts. Yet, she told me she wanted another present from me.
"What would that be?" I asked.
She pointed to a dandelion and said, "I want that."
I picked the flower, handed it to her and she examined it for a minute or two.
Then, giving it back to me, she instructed, "Would you please put it back."
Although I make my living with words, I couldn't find any to explain that putting that dandelion back was impossible. Like Adam and Eve, like the rest of us... she will figure it out. She will discover that there are a lot of things in life which -- once they're done -- can't be undone.
I'm sure you can name a few such things.
As adults we know, but sometimes forget, that when words are said, they can't be called back. When an action is done, often it can't be undone. That's why the Savior reminds us we need to be careful what we do and say.
Along with His words, Jesus' presence -- His sacrificial mission to win our forgiveness -- reminds us we are helpless when it comes to erasing our wrongdoings. We can add sins to the pile, but we can't cart them away.
So we might be forgiven is why Jesus came. He gave His life to fix that which we had broke, to rebuild the relationship with the Lord our transgressions had torn down.
With thanksgiving for the Savior's sacrifice being our motivation and with the Holy Spirit as our inspiration we will be motivated to do, say and think that which is right, proper and a blessing.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Gracious Father, help us think of the consequences of our words and our actions before we set them free to do damage. Rather, let our desires, our deeds and our words be evaluated and selected so we never regret what we say or do. In Jesus' Name, we ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries