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. If the truth be told, many others experience the same thing. We really do strive for clarity, but end up misunderstood.

We’re all communicators by nature; some of us do a bang-up job of it, and others, not so much. Being misunderstood is the norm for many, and especially for us who follow him; it can be accentuated by our perceived “other-worldly” beliefs– sometimes communicating them is a challenge. Let’s pray that the Spirit uses our simple words to open eyes; and he really, really wants to.

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

Proverbs 16:24

The things we say can be sweet grace to others, it’s as if we are bringing cold water to thirsty people–that is no small thing. And yet somehow, we often ‘slice and dice’ people, especially spoken to those we love. Isn’t any wonder why those closest to us struggle so? I flinch inside when I hear a mother berate her young son in the grocery store. She is wounding him deep inside, and she has no idea.

“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 cut-to-the-bone. They jab, slash and cut. They are malicious and hurtful. We inflict pain on others far too easily. God forgive us. Satan gets foul glory by things we say. He will use us to destroy others.

But there are others who have learned some things. Their words bring healing. I’ve known a few people like this, they have an aura about them–a special superpower. They say profoundly simple things of wisdom, and it seems healing follows them everywhere. (I’ve also have seen other believers stall, simply because they won’t control their mouth.)

“The cure of an evil tongue must be done at the heart. The weights and wheels are there, and the clock strikes according to their motion. A guileful heart makes a guileful tongue and lips. It is the work-house where is the forge of deceits and slanders; and the tongue is only the outer shop where they are vended, and the door of it. Such ware as is made within, such, and no other, can come out.”

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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Published by Bryan Lowe

The Chief Sinner of the "Chiefest of Sinner's Club." My favorite verse is Philippians 1:6-- "I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

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).

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