As Christian disciples we can make an ongoing decision to fill our hearts and our minds with the powerful and healing words of God. We can cultivate a deliberate vocabulary of grace… (The Unmaking of a Part-Time Christian)
WORDS: I’ve been thinking a lot about language, lately. Words. Not that surprising, of course, as I am a writer by trade. But it’s what words do, their potency, their effect, that is on my mind today.
The old adage goes like this: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” But that’s a load of bunk; words do hurt. Words can hurt, they can heal; our words can encourage, and they can discourage.
Fact is, words pretty-much define the way we relate to other people – especially if we’re not literally face-to-face. Yet so many of us throw around hateful phrases, condemning sentences, disparaging remarks, hurtful ideas, and unkind thoughts – without a second thought.
At the same time, taking a deliberate look at the way we communicate with other people has the potential to be transformational – both for us and for the world we inhabit. We can renew our own minds, we can invite grace into the conversation, and we can heal our relationships too.
Here are a few thoughts about words, taken from the chapter, “God-smacked in the Cranium,” from “The Unmaking of a Part-TIme Christian.” – one of my favorite books.
- A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a few choice words can certainly paint a colorful picture!
- The average working vocabulary has been variously estimated between 10,000 and 25,000 words. I wonder how many of those are words of grace? The English language includes upwards of a half million words, so there are certainly enough to chose from if any of us want to enrich our selection.
- If we routinely learn, understand, and use words of grace, expressions of life, phrases of encouragement, and sayings of benevolence, our thoughts and ultimately our actions are lifted up…
- “As a man thinketh, so he is. For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)
- “Jesus called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of his mouth that defiles.'” – Matt 15:10-11
- We all need a spiritually rehabilitated vocabulary.
- “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” – Romans 12:2
- As Christian disciples we can make an ongoing decision to fill our hearts and our minds with the powerful and healing words of God. We can cultivate a deliberate vocabulary of grace…
Seriously, friends, there is a lot we can do; and we can start right inside our own heads!