In Part 1, I ended by saying the entertainment world has destroyed words in the context of its utility in music. I also mentioned how all words create some kind of impression, communicates messages, images and expectations Now, since thoughts determine actions, there is a powerful connection between the words we use and the results we get. And words are like pictures, images. Proverbs 25:11 reminds us that A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. One other translation, God’s Word Translation, puts this same verse thus: [Like] golden apples in silver settings, [so] is a word spoken at the right time.
So, a word whether of counsel or rebuke or reproof, if spoken rightly is most especially beautiful, like fine fruit laid in silver baskets becomes even more beautiful. And talking about pictures and images, there is an even more powerful connection between the vitriol we spew and the visual images we attach to these same words, especially when we put these images out there in the public place.
I think I understand this combination of words and visual aids to some extent, recognizing that my dad was an ear specialist who worked with the deaf and mute and in some cases having three problems (deaf, mute and blind) embedded in a single individual; he used audio-visual aids in his profession and I found out that visual aids help reinforce one’s verbal message powerfully. Recall, we use visual aids in training and teaching children so if (and we know) that there are loony-tunes all over the place, why would you want to put, for example, a bulls eye on the photo of your neighbour? Such bull’s eye visuals seem to be sending a message: here is target to be killed. Words were exchanged in a Florida movie theater and what was the result? One person shot dead, another wounded, and it is only anyone’s guess how many have been currently impacted. A constitutional right doesn’t mean the right to abuse the right (i.e. the right to do wrong).
So poorly chosen words (no matter where) can kill enthusiasm, impact self-esteem, lower expectations and hold people back. Remember Proverbs 25:11. Well chosen words can motivate, offer hope, create vision, impact thinking and alter results for the good. After all, words can be used to heal or to kill so if you do not have anything good to say, remember that Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent, Proverbs 17:28.
This is true. In the arena of heated politics, poorly chosen words by the political and news “elites” can inflame and kill. In the church, intentionally chosen words (carefully crafted to serve a particular intent), can incite and kill. In the spiritual realm the same can happen but as Isaiah 54:17 says, No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.
Now, are you constantly wondering or thinking about how people will react to your words? If so, then I say that is a good start because you are not only recognizing your audience but also evaluating your morals and your vocabulary wardrobe. For a Christian, this is even more so as I see it as a step towards assessing your relationship with God while measuring content strategy, becoming aware of your environment and how your Christian company and the wider audience will feel upon hearing you speak.
Proposed prayer: Heavenly Father, may 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 each reader in a manner that will bring glory to God. Please let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, in Jesus’ name. Amen.