As a wordsmith I understand the value of the written language. As a pastor I preach with the hope that the spoken word wheels as much influence. Words are powerful, spoken and written, and they can be used for good or ill. Throughout history orators have swayed masses to action, some to war and others to repentance; some to riots and others to prayer. My son showed me a meme yesterday that pictured flags from different countries. Under each flag was the caption "When we disagree with our country we riot/protest." At the end of the list of pictures was the American flag with the following caption, "When we disagree with our country we complain on the internet." As Americans we believe that words should sway people to do the right thing, or at least what we believe is the right thing.
God has spoken to us in the garden and on the mountain. In the garden he spoke life into dust and on the mountain he spoke law onto stone. In these last days he has spoken to us in His Son, the living Word of God. Through Jesus we hear the words of God's grace and compassion, his love and forgiveness, his hope for our redemption, and for those who believe our hearts have become living flesh once again.
Jesus promised to always be with us, to give us indescribable peace, to relieve us of our anxiety, and to make peace with the Father through his blood. In his parting words he said he would send a comforter, the Holy Spirit to give us power and peace by speaking to our spirits and confirming that we are God's children.
As His children we are to speak as well. We are to proclaim the gospel of the living God, of hope and a future. We are to encourage one another and build our brothers/sisters up in the faith. Our exhortations are to be salted with love and and compassion. There are times that our speech should be slow or utterly silent. James says that we should be quicker to listen then to speak, because too often our words are angry and self-centered. The words of our lips should fail us as we stand before a holy God, and flippant references to the Father should be squelched.
It is, however, much easier to proclaim than to practice. I pray that the Holy Spirit will bridle my tongue in those moments I am tempted to speak without thinking. Hurtful words can never be recovered, but gracious words are like salve on a soar, cool and refreshing.
It is important not to let the biting words of enemy or friend blind us to our true nature in Christ. Words can be painful, but THE WORD of God is the truth. I love the song line that reads, "Of all the voices calling out to me, I will chose to listen and believe the voice of truth."
"Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few." Ecc. 5:2,3. "...listen to me;be silent, and I will teach you wisdom” (Job 33:33). I'm Just Saying...