Words. They are very powerful! God used them in the creation of the world. He chose them to be the means of communicating with mankind. And He gave them to us as a beautiful way of communicating with each other. A carefully crafted sentence with rich vocabulary can communicate in ways that non-verbal communication never can. As the mother of a non-verbal autistic son who has never uttered a word in his 24 years of life, I have learned how precious the gift of communication with words is. Don’t get me wrong, I treasure the deep eye contact he gives me where it feels like he can see straight through to my soul and his habit of leaning in with his forehead to touch mine with his and I know that is his way of saying how important I am to him. But to be honest, I long to be able to communicate with him in words – to hear him describe his thoughts and dreams. How precious that will be when we are together in eternity!
Perhaps it is my experience with Nicky that fills me with such grief when I hear spouses share harsh words of irritation with each other or a parent speak crushing criticisms to their child. Words are a beautiful gift and as so many verses in Proverbs tell us, they have amazing power to build up, and the deadly potential to destroy.
Proverbs 15:4 “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
Proverbs 16:24 “Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
Proverbs 18:20 “Words satisfy the soul as food satisfies the stomach; the right words on a person’s lips bring satisfaction.”
Proverbs 15: 1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but hard words stir up anger.”
Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Proverbs 12:18 “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
My intention is not to do an exhaustive Bible study about how we are to use words, but just to cause you during this Valentine month where we are focusing on how to share love with others, to stop and weigh your words carefully. Ask yourself if they will be edifying and loving or if they are rooted in a selfish desire to just “say what you want to say.” Harsh and cruel words can never be retracted. As James 3:8 tells us “no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” Thankfully, we as believers have the help of the Holy Spirit to get control of the things we say. We CAN have victory!
Think about those candy hearts. Think about the pain of receiving one that said “U R STUPID” instead of one that said “U R SPECIAL.” Let’s give out loving candy hearts this month to our friends and family in the form of beautiful loving words and throw the mean selfish ones away!
In His service,