Children being bullied at school. Politicians spewing hateful words at each other. Music and lyrics sometimes full of unkind words. Using our words not for good, but rather for evil. And as I hear these stories and these words being hurled forth, my heart aches as I think about the impact and power of our words.
As a child, I was a kid who was teased relentlessly. Tears often would stream down my face as I heard those vicious words hurled at me…”Cry baby” “Orange Juice Spiller” and the list goes on. But the truth is, that as I have steeped myself in the word with the Word, I have realized that I…and we…can turn this around.
In Proverbs 16; verse 24 (The Message translation), we hear “Gracious speech is like clover honey—good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.” Oh how true those words are. (God has a funny sense of humor too. Today I went to open my Bible app to look up this text and guess what was the verse of the day. You guessed it: Proverbs 16:24) Just this week, I have read replies to two of my comments on friend’s blogs. Their simple words back to me—“I simply adore you friend” and “You make me blush”– have covered me in love and have felt like sweet honey replenishing my soul. I don’t know about you but I want more of those kind words!!
I know that we all don’t experience those kind words. Sometimes we experience hateful hurtful words that bitterly hang in our hearts and in our ears. I think of the story I shared in my post the other day when I shared of the individual who said some pretty hateful things to me at my writing group at the local library several years ago. Those words were a bruising to my heart and to my ego. Those are not the kind of words that God calls us to share. God calls us to be kind to one another…to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Because the kind words we share with each other are pure gift.
“Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.”–Ephesians 4:29 (The Message)
Yes, each word is pure gift, but I am guilty of not always using my words for good. I sometimes listen as others are unkind to their neighbor. I may not say anything unkind, but I also don’t always speak up either. I also sometimes have a hard time saying kind things when someone is unkind to me. I have been known to raise my voice. Yet God still calls us to be that kind voice even when that is not always the easiest thing to do. But, my friends, I want my words to give life. I want them to be as sweet as honey to your soul. I want them to lift up rather than tear down. I want them to embody the gift of the Word in our lives. And I want this space to be that too!
I am reminded of the lyrics from Christian artist Hawk Nelson’s song “Words.” “Words can build us up. Words can break us down. Start a fire in our hearts and put it out. Let my words be life. Let my words be truth. I don’t wanna say a word unless it points the world back to you.”
May we use our words for good and to point the world back to the WORD!
Linking up with these lovely ladies today: