Words – and their power


20171123_153007.jpgWords are powerful.  It doesn’t matter if they are written, spoken or thought.  They have the capacity for great good or great harm.  We use them to communicate, influence, inspire, defend, attack, build up and tear down.  Words are very powerful and their consequences far-reaching.

This causes me to give pause and reflect.  How have I been using my words?  What am I saying to others…to myself?  Have I been building up or tearing down?  Do I encourage others or do I use my tongue to manipulate or hurt others?  Are my words true or variations of truth?

There is an amazing beauty to words.  Without them, we cannot describe the wonders around us.  Without them, we cannot clearly communicate to others around us.

I love words.  I always have, and I believe I always will.  To me, there is an amazing sense of wonder when I can put a series of words together to describe something or share an idea or dream.  For example, yesterday, as I drove through town and looked up at the steel grey sky, I was amazed by the splendor of the barren trees against that silvery backdrop.  Branches lifted high, reaching for the hidden sun, looked like lacey fingers. Their silent search for the light, against a dark and dreary day, spoke to my heart.  It spoke of hope.  It demonstrated trust.  They knew the sun was there, and they patiently wait to receive its warmth.  For a few minutes, I spent reflecting on the message I found in their silent stance.  Stand strong,  Reach up and wait.  Hope is coming.

Words are powerful.  They have the capacity to inspire men to slay dragons, storm castles, and rescue princesses.  Today we live in a dragon-less world where skyscrapers have replaced castles.  Yet to me, knights still exist, dragons roam, and knights still protect the innocent.

I see the men and women who tirelessly fight to find the cure to cancer as noble knights of the realm.  They are determined to slay the vile monster who lays to ruin so many lives.  Firemen are also heroic knights.  These valiant souls storm castles and rescue people held captive by flames, with little thought to their own safety.

I could have said that I am thankful for the doctors and researchers that are working diligently to find the cure for cancer.  Or I could have said that I appreciate how firemen risk their lives to save others.  Maybe it isn’t as colorful or as heart-stirring, yet don’t they say the same thing?  Yes, but one simply states facts, while the other stirs the heart.  It is the difference between a sketch and a painting.

I am rarely at a loss for words – though there are times I wish I had been.   For while words can inspire, encourage and build up they can also be used as a weapon that shatters hearts and wounds souls.  Careless, thoughtless words in the heat of fear or anger can echo for generations later.  Cruel words I uttered when I was hurting and I wanted to hurt back.  Heedless of the cost, they poured out of my mouth destroying all within their reach; like a dragon’s merciless flame.   How I wish I could take them back, but I never can.  I can make amends, but the damage is done.

Words, words, words.  But I do not only hurt others with my words, I often am my own worst enemy.  If I had a penny for every time I put myself down, called myself fat, ugly or a failure – I would be living a life of luxury.  What we say to ourselves; this internal self-talk is powerful.  If you don’t believe me, go to the bookstore on self-help and psychology.  There are hundreds of books that address self-talk.  They stress the importance of positive thoughts and how they affect your attitude and life.  Positive thoughts result in positive words.

I have the power, if you will, to heal or to harm myself and others with the words I think, say or write.   We all have this power.  We all have this choice.  How will I use this power today?  

I hope that I will choose to heal, to encourage, and to inspire.  I want to cheer others on in their dreams and quests.  There is a cost.  It means keeping a close watch on my internal and external voice.  I must learn to guard my heart and tongue; not an easy task.

Philippians 4:8.  “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

For what we think, we believe.  What we believe, influences how we feel and what we say and what we do.  Proverbs 23:7a puts it this way.  “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.”

Question is, what kind of person will I be today?  Words will tell.

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