Today I want to write about words. “Words” is a bit vague in introductions I suppose, however words are weighing heavily on my heart today. Not words in the written sense , because being a writer, I can write all day long. Instead, I want to talk about words that are spoken.
When I was twelve my grandfather gave me a copy of William Safire’s Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History. In this book you got to see the greatest of orators from ancient Greece through the modern era. I think this book is the reason that I fell in love with words.
Due to a minor touch of glossophobia, I knew from an early age that public speaking is probably not for me. However, I do recognize the power of words, even if I won’t ever captivate an audience with a resounding speech. Words are a very powerful entity! They empower and encourage. Words can bring a nation to change; words can inspire people to be better. One only has to look through history books to see how speeches moved people to fight against inequality, racism, and social injustice.
My deep respect for words grew in college. The more I read the more I saw what an influence words can have on people. I began to think, if words have such an incredible effect on a large scale, what are they capable of on a smaller scale? Proverbs 16:24 says that “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (NIV). A kindly spoken word, a moment of praise, or a simple “good morning” can often raise a person’s spirits significantly. They can cause a person to believe in themselves again, even if the battle has been long and difficult.
But if words have such incredible GOOD power, what happens when words are used to means other than good? What happens when words are used in anger or malice? If words are used as weapons, they are deadly indeed. Words can tear a person a part if they are said in anger or even carelessly. Proverbs 18:7 says, “A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.” We do not want to have the fool’s mouth! We must pay attention to what we say! Words cannot be taken back, and they cannot be washed away. Once you put words out into the world, it is done. Words can be forgiven but never forgotten.
I feel like this is particularly true for ladies. There are two ways that people communicate: verbally and non-verbally. For women, our tone and attitude say a lot more than our words do at times. We must be careful both with the words we chose and with the tone in which we deliver them. We should be a good example to all the people that we come in contact with. What better way to start than with how we speak to them? This means your husband, friends, coworkers, beauticians, the boy who bags your groceries…. Everyone! Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Why don’t we try this week to give grace to those with whom we interact? Let’s see if we can let the light of Jesus Christ shine through us to brighten the days of our friends and family.