I have been thinking a lot today about words; words and their weight.
This may simply be the product of the first day of my blogging career, making me analyze things I’ve said, could say, might say, should say, etc. I’ve thought about many of the writers I’ve read, whether in books, journals, magazines, or blogs, and their impact on the ways I think. I’ve even thought about the preachers and public speakers who have spoken on topics I’m interested in and how their words have carried a specific weight with me. It’s an interesting thing to toss about in my head.
Oftentimes I perform an analysis of thoughts or words or phrases or stories or passages in Scripture, and I find myself almost in a sense of contemplation over what those words mean. We as human beings are incredibly unique, especially in the way we receive and perceive. What I say, even in this blog, will be received and perceived differently by each and every person who reads it. That fact alone is beautiful to me. The ability for God to so intricately form each and every person in the world to have a unique and own response to and outlook on the world and its contents blows me away.
You are unique, and you are valued by God in your view of Him, your response to Him, your perception of Him, and your thoughts toward Him. He knows them all. He gave them to you. And He is in the business of giving you an even clearer view, response, perception, and thoughts of Him. (For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I am also known. – 1 Cor. 13:12)
The Bible says that life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). With such influence, we would be wise to steward our words well. Our words can encourage, strengthen, lift up, speak value, echo love, and offer hope. They can also break down, discourage, produce pain, torture, and steal life. No matter what we say, our words carry weight.
This is as much a responsibility as it is an opportunity and a privilege. God has graciously given us the ability to love in such a powerful way. How can scribbles on a page and noises from our mouths mean so much? God has shown how much He values us by giving us such a gift. We can choose to use the gift to tear down and murder, or we can use it to reflect that same grace and love that surrounds the character of God.
I wonder if we really grasped Proverbs 18:21. What if we really understood the power our words have with people? Our words carry weight. The lesson we learn early on in life of “thinking before speaking” is truer than we know.
I hope you and I can become better listeners to good words that speak life, and discern those that are life-stealing. I also hope we can become people who use words that speak life, hope, and love to those who hear.