Words can be life giving, or life taking.  Think about the words you’ve said that have translated to action, “with this ring…” Do you remember the first time you looked across an empty space to another person to sincerely say “I love you”?  Words do mean something, because they become actions and actions tend to last forever.   Do you remember your reaction to some words that you’ve heard, “we should have a baby!”  “I’m sorry, but we have to let you go.”   Do you remember the sheer emotion that is tied up in these words?  The words you say and the words you live by translate to what we do.

The half-brother of Jesus, James says that the tongue is like a rudder of a large ship.  What we stay actually steers our life in a certain direction.  Jesus reminded his disciples that they would have to give an account on the Day of Judgment, “for every careless word they have spoken.”  Then he goes on to say, “For by your words you will be acquitted and your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37) I remember studying the book of Matthew with a friend and when we came across that passage we just sat and stared at each other.  We both like to make people laugh and have therefore said many careless words.

I think this is why it is so important that we worship publicly and proclaim what we believe.  It struck me when I was reading the gospels that Jesus would say, “go back and tell people what God did for you.”  They are just words, but they are words that guide and lead others into love.  They are just words that we sing but they remind me of God’s great love for me. Words manifest into emotion and action. This year as I have begun a journey to read through the entire Bible, again, I have noticed how prevalent this theme of words is.  It is amazing to me that God cares deeply about what we say to people and how we say it.  God’s words actually became flesh in the person of Jesus.  If your words became flesh, what would they look like?


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  • Christina

    Thank you dave.

  • M. Borer

    Fantastic post, as always. People say talk is cheap, but it can cost us quite a bit in the end!

    This reminds me of the old story about a lady whose gossip hurt others in her village. She asked the rabbi for advice and he told her to cut the top off her finest feather pillow and bring it to him. While she was walking, the wind blew feathers out of the pillow, and the rabbi asked her to retrieve them all before he would advise her.

    Hours later, she returned to his house exhausted and with the pillow still only half-full. “It’s impossible to pick up every last feather,” she cried.

    The rabbi nodded. “Yes, it is. And it’s just as impossible to take back words once they’ve left your mouth.”

    • Great story…I love the old Jewish parables they are so rich!