Change Your Words. Change Your World.

Have words ever gotten you in trouble?

James writes in the New Testament that: “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness…Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing…Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?”

The facts about our words are that they REVEAL OUR HEART.

Have you ever said something and then regretted it and made the remark, “I really did not mean it, I really am not that way.”

Well, the sobering truth is that Jesus said, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

The facts about our words are that they can be much more HURTFUL THAN WE THINK.

Breaking news: The saying “Stick and stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me”, is not true!

We all can remember mean-spirited and hurtful words that were told to us as children. Those are words we will probably never forget.

There is a Turkish Proverb that says, “A knife-wound heals, but a tongue wound festers.”

The fact about our words is that WE SHOULD BE VERY CAREFUL AND STRATEGIC HOW WE USE THEM.

Jesus said, “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Very sobering and important words.

How can we use our words carefully, strategically and constructively?

One, be quick to listen, slower to speak.

I make a living writing, talking and using words.

Words are my friends and I love to use them and hear me say them, but the scriptures say that one of the smartest things I can do is to be quiet and listen.

This is not easy for me.

Someone once said, “You are not learning anything when you’re talking.”

There is an old American Proverb that says, “Listen or thy tongue will keep thee deaf.”

Margaret Millar added, “Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness.”

Solomon then finished the argument when he wrote, “Even the foolish man, when he keeps quiet, is taken to be wise: when his lips are shut he is credited with good sense.”

I am trying to be wiser these days.

Two, under promise and over deliver with your words.

About twenty years ago, my wife and I were newly married and had never been on a “real” vacation, and we were given an opportunity to go on a trip to a remote “resort” on the coast of Mexico.

The brochure was intoxicating. Tropical trees, beautiful beaches, high rise hotels, and pictures of a glitzy night life filled the 3 page booklet that was telling us that this would be the trip of our dreams.

When we arrived, we found an old dirty town, with a few palm trees, no high rise hotels, no glitzy night life and a couple of condominiums stuck in the middle that we were booked to stay in.

The first night in our room, a crow had made its way into our air conditioner duct and it squawked the entire night.

The brochure over promised and under delivered.

When we do this with our WORDS we lose credibility.

Three, tell people about their potential.

When was the last time you told someone that they were “fearfully and wonderfully made”?

When was the last time you told someone that God had given them talents and passions and abilities that the world needed?

My son lives, works and mentors children in the inner city.

One young boy he has been mentoring, who is fatherless and has a mother who is struggling with addiction, asked my son if he would be his parent on back to school night.

My son went and got to hear from this young man’s teacher how smart he is.

My son got to see the boy’s talents as he sang and danced in the school choir.

Now when my son sees him, on an almost daily basis, he gets to tell this young boy about how smart he is and how talented a singer and dancer he is

Who around you needs to hear the words from God, spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

And four, don’t forget the power of words.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

And God said, “Let there be sky,” and there was sky.

And God said, “Let there be dry ground and let the water be gathered to one place”
And it was so. And God saw that it was good.

And God said, “Let there be plants and trees.”
And it was so. And God saw that it was good.

And God said, “Let there be lights to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years.”
And it was so. And God saw that it was good.

And God said, “Let the waters be full of living creatures and let birds fly above the earth across the sky.”
And it was so. And God saw that it was good.

And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures.”
And it was so. And God saw that it was good.

And God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
And it was so. And God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

God’s word created the universe, but you see, God’s word also saved us.

The apostle John writes, “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.”

And John goes on to write, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The power of words to create and save!

How can you use your words to create and save this week? How can you use your words more wisely?

Tom Stoppard writes, “Words… They’re innocent, neutral, precise, standing for this, describing that, meaning the other, so if you look after them you can build bridges across incomprehension and chaos. But when they get their corners knocked off, they’re no good any more… I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you’re dead.”

3 thoughts on “Change Your Words. Change Your World.

  1. that was so hard to hear and even worse to read. I know how words can hurt and how long it takes to get over that hurt., sometimes you never do. I know my words have also hurt for that I am so extremely sorry. I do want to watch my mouth and never cause any pain to anyone. but the old saying is true ( hurt people, hurt people) this world would be so much better if everyone tried to show grace to everyone. we all have feelings and all need to be respected. thanks for your words.

  2. I love that you love to hear yourself use your words, luckily we all like to hear all your words too :). Troy loves the advertising – that was great! And I’ll contininue working on biting my tongue, though it feels black and blue these days and I still don’t bite it enough.

  3. As my husband is fond of saying, words mean things. As a teacher, I have certainly seen first hand how words can both raise up and demean a child. It is important that we remember that also about the other adults in our lives. A word thoughtlessly thrown out there can stay with someone for the rest of their lives. It’s also good to know that a kind word can make a powerful difference for someone you don’t even know, as well as those nearer to you. Thank you for the wonderful words, Ken.

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