Words

Posted on 2007-10-03. Filed under: Prayers, Quotes, Thoughts |

I read this earlier this week:

The primary means of Creation as well as relationship is the ability to speak, to communicate with words.

An essential gift that God gives man, one that sets him apart from the animals, is the ability to speak and communicate. God, our Father, desires relationship with the ‘children’ He creates, and He places within them the need and desire for relationship with Himself and with one another. The chief means of relationship is communication through the expression of words. Words have the power to create intimacy and unity and to facilitate meeting and fellowship – both with God and with one another.

That is so true. Words are power. As the Bible says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)

I just finished watching Akeelah and the Bee tonight. It reminded me of the power of words in my life. A lot of my early success was due to my ability to use and understand words. And I can remember when my dexterity with words began to slip and how all of a sudden, life became harder.

Words can bring people together and split them apart. Words can heal and hurt. And it isn’t that some people use words to heal others and some people use words to hurt others. No. We all use them for both purposes. As James says, ” With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.” (James 3:9)

I wish that I was able to continually remember the power of words and be able to control my tongue more effectively. Instead, it seems that so much of my life has been spent uttering deceit, curses, lies, threats, flattery, boasting, slander, slurs, accusations, perversity, and mockery. Earlier in that same chapter, James says:

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:6-8)

I’m to the point where I don’t trust my own words or the words of others. I’ve been let down too many times in life by way too many people, including myself. And I could tell myself that perhaps I put too much weight on words, on promises, on commitments, on fleeting comments given in the moment. But how can you overweight something that has the “power of life and death”, something that was used to create all of Creation?

I just realized that I’ve spent a lot of money this year on words, both in provisioning the proper words (in legal agreements) and in protecting our choice of words (with trademarks). So, are some words more valuable than others? Are some words more powerful than others? The world is just too complicated; if that’s the case, how in the hell am I supposed to recognize and know the difference between ineffectual words and words of power? How am I supposed to understand when someone is noncommittally placating me or when they are actually in fervent and genuine agreement? If there’s one thing I would like to proscribe, it’s off-the-cuff remarks. Too often, these words that the speaker proffers without thinking are received weightily by the listener – more weightily than intended.

I think I have a real problem in receiving love because I need love in words AND deeds. I think perhaps that Extreme had it wrong when they sang More than Words. Deeds just aren’t enough in themselves. For me, they need to be reinforced with words – powerful words full of intent and meaning.

Lately, I’ve been very particular in trying to speak and trying to hear. Some people think I’m overly parsing my communication but I am trying to be precise. I guess right now I’m so tired of imprecision, of messiness, of blurriness. I need distinction – clear demarcations between meanings, bright spotlights on the intended meaning.

Maybe that’s just my desire for control showing through. Perhaps I’m trying to control my life and my environment with words. Maybe that’s unhealthy and in rebellion to God. But the Bible says, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18) I don’t want my words to be reckless. No, the opposite of reckless is responsible. And if I’m to use responsible words and to be responsible for them, I want them to be correct and accurately reflect my intended meaning.

I don’t know – perhaps I should just heed the Bible where it says, ” When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” (Proverbs 10:19) Maybe if I reduce the amount of words I use, it will reduce the amount of sin in my life. <dunno>

Oh that the words of God would reverberate in my heart, in my mind, in my will and in my spirit. May the words of God remake me into something wonderful for Him. May the words of God reveal to my inner heart His love for me and His will for me. Father, please make your words come to life within me! Wash me in Your words and transform me into someone who is pleasing to You. And fill me with Your words so that they overflow into the lives of those around me. Thank you.

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