Thursday, June 7, 2012

Words Matter

As always, Jesus said it best when the Pharisees rose up to debate Him, tried to get Him in a corner, attempted to trip Him up.  'Out of the heart the mouth speaks.'  He went on to warn these 'vipers' that 'men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.  For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned {Matthew 12:34, 36-37}.

Sounds like a serious warning to me.

And the writer of Proverbs spoke over and over again about our use of words:

'Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips' {4:24}.

'When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise' {10:19}. 

'Do you see a man who speaks in haste?  There is more hope for a fool than him' {29:20}.

Maybe we simply need to listen twice as much as we talk.  {Two ears, one mouth.}  Clam up more.  Think before flapping our lips.  Count to 10 before sharing our two cents.  Prayerfully consider the cost before giving a piece of our mind to someone. 

Or even go to the extreme that the Psalmist did when he announced that he was going to 'put a muzzle on my mouth' {39:1}.

Our words reflect the state of our hearts, impact our relationships, and affect our health and well being. 

In considering the way we communicate, physicians Roizon and Oz warn, 'Be careful of words like never or always when talking about yourself or someone else.  'This machine never works!' or 'You're always forgetting things!' are not only inaccurate, they serve to make you feel that your anger is justified and that there's no way to solve the problem.  They also alienate and humiliate people who might otherwise be willing to work with you on a solution.'

A few words for the wise today ...

- embroidered picture by magda wolna -

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