They Are Only Words

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Proverbs 25:11

Sticks and Stones Will Break My Bones, But Words Will Never Harm Me.

         Perhaps one of the greatest lies spoken, not intentionally, but definitely deceitfully, has been, the “sticks and stones,” sentence above:

    Word are powerful things.  Our entire culture has changed because a whole group of people changed the language, and this was followed by complete social change.  A new elite tell us what words are appropriate and are not.  In colleges and universities, young people have learned adnauseum about words that offend. We now have to have small sections of our places of so-called higher education cordoned off so that a freedom of speech zone is declared for anyone to practice their first amendment rights.  This surely is divisive to our culture and harmful to relationships. But then we are only talking about words.

      A world religion, Islam, has a segment of its population spewing  hate.  NO! not the whole religion!  See how those dozen  words of this blog get attention?  But they do, and many of Islamic Jihadist have murdered hundreds of thousands of other Muslims, Christians,  Jews, Atheists and Agnostics screaming “Allahu Akbar! These words strike terror into people’s hearts around the world. Usually when these are screamed, a certain death explodes all around.  But aren’t they just words.

     Then there are words that provide comfort and peace during trying times: “The Lord is my shepherd.  I shall not want.  He makes me to …”  with all the rest of the 23rd Psalm , comfort and comforted millions of people around the world. And such mere words carefully and prayerfully reflected upon during tempestuous, traumatic, trying and taxing times, provide power to continue on. Indeed, when forgiveness is sought from the Creator, there are no more comforting words than the words of Psalm 51. When intimacy is sought, Psalm 139 causes people to realize how the only true Awesome One is closer than we could ever imagine.   But then again, these are just words. When unsure of God’s love and saving grace, John 3:16-17, are surprising and reassuring; yet, they are such small things called words.

     Speaking just the right word at the right time to the right person has it’s benefits for all concerned. Bragging on a child, speaking kindness, deliberately seeking to say the positive rather than the negative might be challenging; but it’s no wonder that those of us wanting a rock-solid spirituality in a traumatized world,  find hope in the truth that a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.  Yes, they are special indeed.

   So sometimes I find myself praying something like this in hopes of producing those apples in those pictures:

Forgive me, Father, for the times my speech
crosses the line of that which is appropriate.
Help me to understand the power of words,
and give me the wisdom to use them well.

In Jesus Name.

Amen.

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