“Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.”–1 Samuel 2:3 (NRSV)
Today has been an interesting day. I got selected to be part of a jury pool. After several hours of vetting, the jury was selected and myself and others were not selected and got to leave. Before the jury was selected and as we listened, I thought about how our words matter in more ways than most of us realize or even notice.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Oh how wrong this little ditty is. Words do hurt! Words hurt when we ignorantly and arrogantly think we are right all the time. Words hurt when we carelessly hurl them at one another. Words hurt when we don’t speak up for justice, mercy, kindness and radical love.
I have been the recipient of hurting words. I have had mean words hurled at me as a young child. I can still feel the sting of those words ringing in my ear. I have listened to words that called people like my mom “crazy” without even knowing them but simply because she and they live with a mental illness. Those words have stuck to me too. I will not forget those awful words that hurt me and made me feel so incredibly broken.
Words indeed matter! Words came in the Son who is the Word made flesh. So how do we use our words? Do we use our words for evil or good? Do our words embody what we believe in both our words and actions?
I am a lover of words. I often think carefully about what I tweet, what I say, and what I write. I want my words to embody truth. I want my words to be gentle and kind when they need too. I also want them to be lit when I need to speak up for what is wrong. I want my words to share Gods radical love with the world. I want my words not to be arrogant or rude or boastful.
My words, I hope, remind others of the hope and love that is born in a stable in a Bethlehem that holy night. My words, I hope, call forth action in the midst of the injustices in this world. More than anything, I want my words to not be proud or arrogant in any way. I want my words to share the Word made flesh in this broken world.