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Words Matter

February 17th, 2017

Words contain life and carry the seeds of creation

 “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight.” Psalm 19:14 NIV

My thoughts and comments today are that “words matter.”

My fourth-grade teacher taught me an appreciation and respect for words. My Dad taught me the responsibility of words. Words were important to my Dad. I recall his reminding me, “Allen, never speak words you don’t mean.That seems plain and simple enough. He practiced and believed that your words represent you and your good name, and insisted they be honest and honorable always and to all. If not already, you will learn that not all people mean what they say, say what they mean, or do what they say. That is unfortunate, but never let that be said of you.

Words are the essential currency of social interactions. Words are the necessary tool for ordinary communication, meaningful exchange of ideas, and the intended covenant of business and agreement. I have visited and ministered in countries where their native language is different from mine. Thankfully, I was accompanied by others who made me understood and helped me understand.

Words contain life and carry the seeds of creation. “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.” John 1:1-3 NIV. The Creator spoke, and it was so. “We understand that the universe was created by God’s word.” Hebrews 11:3 TEV. Words have the power to heal or hurt, inspire or intimidate, inform or deceive, build or tear down. Solomon warned, “You must live with the consequences of everything you say. What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words.” Proverbs 18:20-21 TEV.

 Your words are important to God. “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord.” Psalm 19:14 NIV. In unguarded moments and situations, your words will eventually reflect your true attitudes and thoughts. Know your heart. Guard your words. Paul urged that your words should not be, “foolish talk or coarse jokes.” Read Ephesians 5:3-4 NLT. Jesus’ words are sobering, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks . . But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.” Read Matthew 12:35-37 NIV.

Your words must be important to you. “Let your speech be always with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so you will know how you should respond to each person.” Colossians 4:6. In those words, I see the picture of a mom carefully preparing supper for her family, tasting and seasoning as she cooks. Taste your words before you lend them a voice. Just in case you must eat them later. “Words from a wise man’s mouth are gracious . . A man of knowledge uses words with restraint.” Ecclesiastes 10:12/Proverbs 17:27 NIV.

Today, I pray for you to choose your words to be gentle and loving without need for regret.

Christian Communications 2017

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Words Matter

September 16th, 2016

What you store in your heart is revealed in your words.

edl-psa-19-14-words“May the words of my mouth . . be pleasing in your sight, O Lord.” Psalm 19:14 NIV.

My thoughts and comments today are that “words matter.”

More than you might realize, words matter. They can matter a lot more than you might think, to the one that speaks them as well as the ones that hear them. Words are easily spoken, readily heard, and sometimes quickly forgotten, but not always. And it seems the words we tend to remember are often the words that would be better if forgotten. The good things a person hears seem too quickly lost amid the daily distractions of life while less wholesome words can lodge in one’s memory indefinitely. Choose wisely the words you speak.

Words matter because words have unimagined power. All that was created, was spoken into existence by the Word of God. The New Testament further explains, “By faith, we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God.” Hebrews 11: 3 NKJV. Words are a valuable gift when used kindly and wisely. Your words have the power to heal or hurt; use them to heal. With words, you can encourage or discourage; be encouraging. I remember my Mom saying, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything.”

Ponder carefully your words before you speak; consider your own feelings if you heard them said about you instead of spoken by you. The Bible offers wise counsel, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6 NIV. Salt has two important properties: to preserve and enhance. Your words should do the same.

Now let me change my attention to the important matter of self-talk. Words that you tell yourself also matter as much if not more than how you speak to others. As always, the Bible provides instruction; “Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation . . May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord.” Psalm 5:1 NKJV and Psalm 19:14 NIV. There is an inviolable connection between your public conversation and your private meditation. At a time when popular opinion was unfavorable and threatening, “David encouraged himself in the Lord.” 1 Samuel 30:6 KJV.

Don’t rehearse your past or your problems; that’s just further discouraging. Remind yourself about God and His power and promises; that’s encouraging. Do you ever wonder what David said to himself that encouraged him? Did he recall the day on the battlefield when Goliath fell at his hand? Did he remind himself of the past faithfulness of God? Or the promises of God? Or the power of God? Or the history of God across his lifetime? Whatever he said and thought, he was encouraged in the Lord.

I recently heard an interesting statement. “Don’t listen to yourself. Talk to yourself.” Let your self-talk be uplifting and inspiring. Never talk to yourself in a lesser way than you would speak to others. Don’t indulge negative thoughts about yourself or your circumstance. Be as wise in what you tell yourself as you should be careful in what you say to others. The meditation of your heart and mind should be purposeful, healing, and uplifting. “Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:18-20 NKJV. What you store in your heart is revealed in your words.

Today, I pray for you to be gracious in your words to and about others.

Christian Communications 2016

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Words Matter

May 30th, 2012

“No man ever spoke like this man.” John 7:46 NKJV

Popular culture is content with a plethora of words bearing a paucity of relevance.

My thoughts and comments today are that “words matter.”

Words really do matter, or at least they should. They are the tools of communication and the building blocks of understanding. They have the power to inspire or dishearten, to intrigue or confuse. Solomon viewed words that edify as, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver,” appropriate, valuable, and beautiful. Proverbs 25:11-13 NKJV.

Your world is daily bombarded with words, too many words too loud too much of the time, it often seems to me. This was Solomon’s conclusion, “The more you talk, the more likely you are to say something foolish . . In the multitude of words sin is not lacking.” Ecclesiastes 5:3 TEV/ Proverbs 10:19 NKJV. Due to a failure to value the quiet of one’s own thoughts and reflection, people surround themselves with uninterrupted noise as background, whether music or political commentary or their own voice. Whatever happened to the relaxation of sitting quietly and reading a good book?

Be advised that much of the words you hear are no more than opinions, too many of which are ill-formed or ill-informed. Opinionated voices seem to presume authority an ordinary person is not usually given, simply because they have the celebrity of a larger audience and more recognized reputation. People of some cultural notoriety – from fame or wealth or success – are not necessarily right or wise outside the parameters of their limited arena of achievement. Celebrity should not equate credibility. Popular culture is content with a plethora of words bearing a paucity of relevance. You cannot afford that to be true of you. Your words matter.

Jesus, “the Living Word,” understood that words matter. Jesus said, “The words I speak unto you are spirit and they are life.” John 6:63 NKJV. God’s Word is sovereign; His voice is singular, not to be compared or confused with any others. When Jesus’ teachings drew larger and larger enthusiastic crowds, the Pharisees felt threatened. To silence Him they sent Temple guards to arrest Him. At the Priests’ questioning of them upon returning without Jesus, the soldiers’ only explanation was, “No man ever spoke like this Man.” John 7:46 NKJV. How very true!

Jesus’ words made eternal difference in lives during His ministry, and the Word of God still has that same anointing today in hearts that love and obey truth. “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the Law.” Matthew 7:28-29 NIV. When Jesus spoke, His words carried Heaven’s authority. Jesus’ words matter because He could say, “I don’t speak on My own authority. The Father . . gave Me His own instructions as to what I should say. And I know His instructions lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.” John 12:49-50 NLT. Do that and you will never go wrong. Don’t speak for God; let God speak through you.

Your voice matters to God; make sure your words bear His authority of truth. Intending to silence the young church, Jerusalem’s Jewish council, “They realized [Peter and John] had been with Jesus . . they commanded them not to speak at all in the name of Jesus.” Their response was as ours should be. “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:13-20 NKJV. God’s Word should be so soundly and firmly in your heart that your words have the eternal consequence they could and should have.

My prayer for you today is that your words are life-giving and of eternal truth.

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