It is written,
But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. Matt 5:37
Your words carry power to encourage, heal, give hope, and change a life.
Your words also carry the power to discourage, hurt, kill, destroy, and make someone feel worthless and unloved.
Take this phrase, “He needs to be praised for the good deed he has done!”
It seems like a good thing to say but that phrase on Facebook was all it took to get a volunteer firefighter terminated!
It was posted on a discussion about the South Carolina church shooter.
The firefighter says it’s all a mistake; a misunderstanding!
His response is not aimed at the killer but towards a post about someone donating a huge amount of money to the victim’s families.
But all anyone can see or comment on is his comment.
The problem with social media or texting is it makes writers out of all of us and most of us are poor writers or poor readers – myself included.
For me, sometimes my thoughts do not translate well into words. I’ve had the same problem when speaking – my brain will work faster than my mouth!
But words from your mouth take with them the emotion of what is being said. You can see a person’s face, hear the inflection, the pauses, laughter, crying, anger, smiles, eyes narrowed or lit up – all are present with words in person and many are detected when spoken over something like a telephone.
Words on paper just lie there and are open to interpretation.
Recently a young lady and I were teasing each other over rootbeer floats on Facebook.
She had been in the hospital for a while and I promised that if she came over I’d fix her a float.
When she got out of the hospital she went to Sonic and got herself a float and posted a picture of it with this caption, “Look PastorTim got me a rootbeer float!”
I knew what she meant but others thought I had got her the float – all because she left out a comma or the word “I”.
So it’s very important that your spoken or written words convey your meaning.
The Bible has a similar problem. Though it is clear to God’s demands for us, it has been interpreted and explained in so many ways so that it has caused confusion and conflict.
The way I understand it, Hebrew and Greek had no punctuation. That would make it difficult for someone today to read and understand. But the words used carried such a rich meaning and often that meaning is determined by the words surrounding it.
There is one word for love in English but three different words are translated into love in the Bible.
There are four different words in the Bible that are translated into one word in English – hell!
Your life speaks better than your words ever will.
Paul said to the Corinthians,
When I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Cor 2:1-5
So choose and use your words carefully and wisely. Preach the Gospel of Jesus and if necessary – use words!