Words

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Let me tell you one of the perils of writing a post. I know what I want to say, but I am seldom happy about the end product.  I suppose it comes as part of the job description and, yet it chafes me to no end.

And, if the truth be told, many others experience the same thing. We really do strive for clarity but end up terribly misunderstood. (I am fairly certain there are those who know this frustration even as they read this.)

Proverbs blares out a desperate warnings to our souls. We must listen to them.

We’re all communicators by nature; some do a bang-up job of it, others, not so much. Being misunderstood is the norm of many, and the strange occupational hazard of the believer.

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”

Proverbs 16:24

The book of Proverbs speaks directly to this dilemma. Healthy words smash through our issues bringing light and hope to others. It’s clear God wants our words to matter. We learn to share things by His Spirit. How exciting though! To speak love and grace to those who need it most is a rare gift these days.

Then there are those who cause death by words.  We can ‘slice and dice’ people we love. Isn’t it any wonder why people around us struggle so? Many understand the power of evil words and even use them intentionally. (Sometimes I flinch inside when I hear a mother berate her young son in the grocery store.)

“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

Proverbs 12:18

Here in Proverbs we read of people whose rash words are compared to a bloody sword thrust. They jab, slash and cut. They are malicious and hurtful. We can cause far too much pain. God forgive us. Satan gets his glory by things we say. Lord, have mercy.

Others have the opposite outcome. Their words bring healing. I have known people like this. They have an aura about them–a special superpower. They say profoundly simple things of wisdom. Healing seems to follow them around. (Yet I also have seen other believers stall, because they couldn’t control their mouth.)

When will we understand that words are powerful; they pierce or they can heal? It’s your choice. Between you and me, I want to say and write that which has a lasting and a healing effect on others.

I must remember that I’m the custodian of the words I speak. My tongue speaks only what is going on in in my heart.

Give me a true heart, O God. I want to carry healing to others. Help me to bridle my tongue. Amen.

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Author: Pastor Bryan Lowe

A repentant rascal with definite issues, but who is seeking to be authentic in his faith to Jesus Christ. An avid reader and a hopeful writer. Husband and father. A pastor and Bible teacher. A brain tumor survivor. Diagnosed with clinical depression, and now disabled. Enjoys life, such as it is, in Alask.a (Actually I have it pretty good.)

2 thoughts on “Words”

  1. I agree that words can be easily misinterpreted. Every single day, people receive or view words/communication one of two different ways:

    1. Translate. This is when a person takes what you say as just that. If you say, “I have such a hard time at churches; it’s like there are no good churches anymore” a person hears just that and nothing more or less. They have translated what you said or, basically, heard your words. We tend to listen to most people this way, especially people we trust or at least don’t distrust.

    2. Interpretation. This is when a person, rather than receiving what you say directly, tries to assign meaning to your words. You say, “I have such a hard time at churches; it’s like there are no good churches anymore,” and the person is trying to determine if there are hidden or subliminal messages or meanings to your words. People do this to people they don’t trust or don’t regard in a good light; they approach them with suspicion and try to interpret their words rather than seeing them as harmless people whose words simply need to be translated (or heard).

    I’ve been around people who didn’t trust me or viewed me through lenses of suspicion; these people rarely ever once translated (heard) anything I said; rather, they were like Alan Turing with his Enigma machine, constantly trying to decipher and interpret the ‘code’ I was speaking. Since communication has to do with both translation (IE. receiving words just as they are spoken) and interpretation (IE. deciphering the meaning or message in a person’s words), it is wise to ask God to teach one how to use words wisely so that with an audience of people with different issues and circumstances, your words come across with Grace, both to those who simply translate (hear) them and those who interpret (scrutinize for deeper meaning) them. We know Solomon talked a lot about this; and Jesus was the perfect communicator. Too many well-meaning people are hurting the hurt with their well-intentioned words. With all the bruised and broken and hurting and fragile people out there, I would like to learn to use words as Jesus did, because even He had to be taught moment by moment what and how to speak:

    “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in season” (Pro. 25:11).

    “He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness He will bring forth justice; He will not falter or be discouraged till He establishes justice on earth” (Isa. 42:2-4).

    “The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the instructed, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He wakens Me morning by morning; He wakens My ear to listen as one being taught” (Isa. 50:4).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree, it’s never ‘easy’ to share the gospel whether written or verbally. But I do believe that when God gives a writer Himself to write about it doesn’t go unnoticed, better yet unread. I, again, believe that God can use us in likely and unlikely of places. The things of God never return void.

    Keep using your words to shine God’s love and light!

    Liked by 2 people

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