In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God, John 1:1.
Jesus is the Word in the above verse, but that is not what we are looking at. We are looking at words that you or others utter. Words, words, words, Images, images, images. Words, words, words! Some say words are just mere breath and so believe that even responding to the school-yard taunt with “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me” is just that. Interesting, very interesting perspectives but here is how I will look at it. I would say they are wrong.
Proverbs 18:21 says “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” Words can hurt you anywhere, whether in the workplace, in a relationship, at home, anywhere. And as I write, I’m not even referring at all to the caustic ones spoken (or received) you know, those which are tainted with sarcasm, irritation, anger or frustration, or those poisonous ones carrying an emotional punch. I’m talking about simple, everyday, normal word choices.
Let me draw one or two analogies here, using these two words: spend and invest. Would you like your bank to spend your money or invest it? Now if we agree that spending implies the money is gone, then you would probably want a bank that invests your hard-earned money, right?
Or, and since the workplace is always posing a problem (is it a “problem” or a “challenge”?), let me use both: problem and challenge, would you rather a boss see your mistake as a problem or as a challenge? I guess most would quickly say “challenge,” as it absolves them of any guilt. Anyway, you can see that this is more than semantics, right? Problems are fixed; challenges are met. Hence my point here is that different words evoke different feelings.
So first, hate-filled words (disguised as political rhetoric) that people spew are like black ice that cover Highway 401 and all other Canadian streets and roads during the harsh and cold winter months of Canada. Many times the black ice is invisible and even when visible it does not present itself an obvious danger at first glance. But, we all know how they can impact one’s results with the slightest miscalculation. What do I mean? Well for one thing, all words create some kind of impression, communicates messages, images and expectations. Words build psychological connections and do influence how one thinks.
Words, when accompanied with music, can become a beautiful thing. While this forms part of the emotional intelligence quotient, sadly, our entertainment world has assaulted and abused this beautiful medium of communication. And moreover, where one is struggling for a particular word to use, base words have become filler words, which is a shame.
Dear reader, I hope the way I’ve written this article, the choice of words, the kinds of words making up my phrase and sentences, by the power of the Holy Spirit impacts you in a manner that will bring glory to God. Remember, how you speak or write can affect the people around you, whether they are “enemy”, family or friends.
Proposed prayer: Heavenly Father, please let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, in Jesus’ name. Amen.