Sunday, October 25, 2015

I Love Words!


Words are immensely powerful and the Bible cautions us to use them well and wisely; “let your conversation be sprinkled with salt”, it says in Colossians 4:6.  I have loved words as long as I can remember; in fact, more than a few times the people who have loved me the most have remarked about my many words!  (Ahem…)

I have an elderly aunt who loves to tell the story about my trek to the woods when I was really little, looking for blueberries with my mother and wonderful grandmother. (Sweet memories!)  Aunt Dorothy loves to remind me that I once sat on an ant hill, having no clue there were aunts crawling all over me, because I chose that moment to be so loquacious (a fancy word for talkative).

Last night Charlie and I babysat for one of our pastor’s children so he and his wife could have a night out.  We love these 4 darlings and the youngest talked nonstop.  We couldn’t understand everything she said but it was apparent that Emerson had discovered words, and that she was going to use them to the max!

I have always loved to play the board game, Scrabble and, much to my delight, I can now play it online through an app called, “Words with Friends”.  I hate to admit it but….it’s almost an addiction.  At this moment I am playing with 3 different people, one whose identity is a mystery but he/she knows words!  Every time I hear a “ding”, I head to my device to see how many points I can get.  In all seriousness, I do believe it is a great way to increase my vocabulary and challenge my brain, as long as it doesn’t become an obsession.

I love this season of life and how God has called me to a new ministry…..using words!  More and more opportunities are presenting themselves for me to speak to women’s groups; the focus of my words/message is to tell them about how God rescues, redeems and restores us through a relationship with His Son, Jesus.

I have worked hard on my testimony so I may tell my story with just the right words…words that will reach tender and open hearts.  I had my testimony critiqued over and over (and I am so grateful for the input) so my words would be clear instead of confusing.  I have practiced it over and over so my voice tone, body language and timing all contribute to the impact of my words.

Our relationships are profoundly impacted by how we speak as well as how we receive the words of others.  In our Sunday night “life group” we are studying the book of James which invariably leads to much conversation.  We have discussed how a tone of voice will give meaning to words…or facial expressions….or voice volume….or body language….and even the eye contact we make with others.  It all seems so complicated!

We have a grandson with Down syndrome and although he communicates beautifully with sign language and understands our words, he has not yet put multiple words together in a meaningful way (age 4 ½).  We are all looking forward to that time when Jacob will express himself using sentences. 

Our daughter-in-law has an advanced degree in speech and language pathology. She teaches in a university and has also done therapy with children who struggle with speech and language in a variety of ways.  You see, Kerry knows the power of words/language and her passion for communication has led her to her work.

James 3 discusses at length the power of the tongue.    James even describes it as a “restless evil”. That’s pretty intense!  But when I really stop to think about all of the broken relationships I have observed or experienced myself, almost always it is related to words said in haste, without grace, without truth, in bitterness, unguarded, etc. 

If we go deeper still, we realize words are, foundationally, a reflection of the condition of our hearts.  As I observe my own life and the lives of people around me, it is obvious the work we do to “tame the tongue” must be done at a heart level. When the heart is in sync with God’s purposes, grace filled words will follow. 


As the Psalmist (19:14) wrote:  “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

 

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