Spirits are crushed and hearts are broken.
Living souls are thwarted.
And this is why words matter.
Most words speak life or death, and there are very few, if any, neutral, in-between words.
Relationships have crumbled and fully disintegrated over poorly chosen words, and real men and women have walked weighed-down and defeated under the weight of a word.
And words are too easy to come by in this time we live, with Facebook statuses punched out on smartphones and instant messaging in too many various forms, and haven’t you ever sent a text you instantly wished you could take back?
So maybe now is just as good a time as any to consider our conversation.
How do we speak?
I’m washing dishes at the sink and the spring sunshine is warm on my arms.
And I’m thinking about words we speak, how they are easy to come by and impossible to erase.
I’m especially thinking about them in the context of the body of Christ, because the church community as a whole has a rather poor reputation in the area of the tongue.
You know just what I mean.
How many things do we hear through the grapevine, things we have no place knowing?
How many times have we shared personal details about someone’s personal story — maybe in the form of a prayer request? Regardless of how, we’re pretty good at inventing excuses for information-sharing conversation.
How about the conversations that can happen in the context of mentoring? “Well, I needed to tell my mentor!” and then, “My mentor needed additional insight from her mentor!” We all know how that ends up.
Our words matter because they either feed souls or crush souls, breathe life or hiss death, bless and encourage or tear down and destroy.
We must repent.
The sower soweth the word.
I know it’s out of context, but when I read that verse, it struck me – how we’re all sowers sowing words, good or bad.
Everyone speaks but listening is art, and it’s the listener who sees and gains entrance to the deepest beauty of the soul.
What if we all took care to listen and took time to see, before we dared utter a word? The careless becoming the careful, our language turning lyric, our words no more condemnation but invitation.
What would relationship be? How would community grow? If the words we scattered were words that would water, never choke?
We’re all disenchanted with surface relationships and superficiality, and maybe just maybe we’re stuck there as long as we continue to heedlessly talk with ears half-shut and eyes half-closed.
I think this for myself, but I know one thing at least –
words matter an infinite lot.