The Weight of Words
Whenever I prepare for a speaking engagement, I am brought back to the weight of words. While a single word can stand alone and infer a particular meaning, a delicate combination of a few can promote an altogether different response. Making powerful statements that impress and edify the mind should always be our goal in speech, but unfortunately it isn’t achievable for humans on an everyday basis. This weakness irritates me and the fact that “Out of the mouth, the heart speaks,” Luke 6:45, Mathew 12:34, convicts me even further.
Much of my time is spent collecting information, but it is easy to see that while I have good motives, I read plenty that is not uplifting, wholesome, or praiseworthy. In fact, I even catch myself justifying certain researches as educational when in truth, they are only in part, if at all.
I believe the Lord blesses certain individuals with the gift of words and abilities to both share and captivate audiences. While I am certain the Lord desires for His people to experience pleasure, I am also sure that He doesn’t approve of some of our methods. It is so much easier to participate in unfiltered freedom of speech than to plan every word that comes from our lips.
Proverbs has always been my all-time favorite reference book of words and truths. Its wisdom is simply inexhaustible, but what James says about our mouths should pierce us all. In James chapter 3, He states that “The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life.” He goes on further to explain that “… no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.”
As discouraging but eye opening as this passage is, it is written for the sake of keeping ourselves humbly aware of our need to guard our lips. Once we truly value the weight of our words, it is then, we should pray before ever voicing our opinions out loud.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13: 1-3