I’ve never been more aware of the power of words.
Living in a foreign country….Learning a new language….Being a wife and a new mommy….Trying to keep in touch with friends and family I have not seen for years….Praying….Reading….Writing this blog.
Words matter! That includes the words we read and listen to as well as the ones we speak and write, the new words we learn and the old ones we teach, the words that were spoken to us in the past, and the words we’re speaking into the future.
Sometimes we stutter and stumble, and other times we speak too fast, too much, too soon.
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. – Proverbs 17:28
Life is not a draft that can be edited. Once uttered, a word cannot be deleted. Interestingly, public speaking is one of the top three fears among people in general, probably because we fear the judgment of the masses regarding what we say.
On the other hand, while fearing to speak before crowds, we seem to have no fear at all in our daily communication with others when we complain, nag, judge, gossip, and vent our opinions seeking “disciples” of our words and thoughts..
We’re all guilty! And I’m not pointing a finger, I’m raising my hand in confession. As a writer and poet, it’s especially hard NOT to speak when words always bubble up in my head. I’m learning that the harder I try to explain myself, the more I feel misunderstood.
I’m also finding that unless I’m willing to be sensitive to the “language” of the people around me, I will be limited to superficial relationships because effective listening requires proper understanding.
Words only have power because they communicate a message. To be effective, words have to be bundled together with honesty and sincerity. It doesn’t help to be “men pleasers” by saying what you think people want to hear because you will probably be wrong anyhow (and I’m still learning this every day). The truth only hurts once, but lies hurt forever.
And the truth truly spoken in love doesn’t hurt half as much as a lie.
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1
There is hope because words can encourage, inspire, and change lives, especially when the words spoken are not your own but the Word of God.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. – Romans 12:2
Our minds can only be renewed if “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
At the end of the day, our words reflect what’s going on in our minds and in our hearts. Perhaps if we would choose the words we read and listen to more carefully, they would begin to transform our minds and hearts.
If my words don’t speak life and carry hope, there is no point in writing.
If your words don’t speak truth and carry love, there is no point in speaking.
My prayer is that you will count your words today and that your words will count.