As we were driving home from school last week, I was listening to my children sing with great fervour: “Let my words be life, let my words be truth. I don’t want to say a word unless it points the world back to you,” (‘Words’ by Hawk Nelson)
It got me thinking how so often our words can sound anything but graceful.
Have you ever heard words come out of your mouth and thought, “oh, that’s not what it sounded like in my head”. It can feel like a wall of bricks just fell out of the sky and landed on top of you.
If done regularly, it carries the title of ‘foot-in-mouth disease – noun Informal: Facetious. the habit of making inappropriate, insensitive, or imprudent statements,’ (dictionary.reference.com/browse/foot-in-mouth+disease)
Winston Churchill once said, ‘In the course of my life, I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet.’
Well, I’m not sure about the ‘wholesome diet’, but it is something that people have been grappling with right throughout the course of history.
Words can do a lot of damage even if the intention was not to do so. They can tear people down, they can damage dreams, they can hurt right to the core, they can shatter people.
On the flip side however, how wonderful it is when the right words are said at the right time. They can bring hope and healing, they can motivate, encourage and give life.
‘A person finds joy in giving an apt reply –
and how good is a timely word,’ Proverbs chapter 15 verse 23.
Everywhere we go, there are people who need words of hope. The gift of the right word at the right time and a listening ear can be a breath of life in an unrelenting world.
John 1 verses 1-4 says: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’
As the world gets darker, let your light shine brighter and may the words you say bring life, hope and healing, drawing people closer to the light of God, the hope of the world.
First published Christian Today Australia 26 June 2014 http://www.christiantoday.com.au/article/words.for.dinner/17537.htm