I have been turning some things over in my head about words the last few days. I thought I'd write a little more extensively about our words.
Words aren't just things, they have both life and death. They have both the power to heal and to destroy. They have the power to give hope and to take it away (Proverbs 18:21, James 3:8-10).
We should not haphazardly throw our words around or say them needlessly. We should mean what we say and say what we mean. Not only should we be careful with our words, we should keep our words. Do what you say you are going to do or don't say it. After all, you are only as good as your word. If you can't keep your word, what can you keep?
Why do people say things they don't really mean? Why do they lie? Sometimes I think they don't know what to say so they feel they have to say something. Other times, they are simply manipulating people or the situation. Still others just like to hear themselves talk. Some don't care about anyone else but themselves so they don't care who they hurt.
One of the most harmful things you can say and not mean is "I love you." Another is "No, I won't tell anyone." And then there is "I promise to or not to...." These are some of the most wonderful and most sacred things you can say and if you mean them, they bring life, hope and trust. Yet if you don't mean them, they can do so much damage to other people.
For me, the bottom line is I'm going to mean what I say and say what I mean. I am going to surround myself with real people who do the same. I will keep my word, I will surround myself with people who can keep their word. People who throw their words around carelessly or use them to hurt other people will not be found in my inner circle, nor would I ever enter any close relationship with such a person.
Watch your words. They are tools, used for good or evil. And most importantly, if you can't say anything good or kind, don't say anything at all (I know we've all, at one point and time, messed this up). And whatever you do, don't bandy words with unwise people who will not listen, it's just not worth it (Matthew 7:6).
Until next time,