I'm writing today on my youngest daughter's 21st birthday! The song Gabriel's Oboe that is playing has always been one of her favorites and mine. It's hard to believe that our Mary Elizabeth, the little miracle baby that God chose to bless us with later in life when we thought we could have no more children, is now grown and soon to be a senior in college. When she was born we used to joke that they would have to wheel us out of the nursing home for her college graduation! What a privilege to see her grow into such a beautiful, and talented young woman who loves the Lord. Among the flowers and presents she received, her dad and I sent her a new Bible she had asked for when she was home at Christmas. As I tried to write some words of wisdom in her birthday card I knew that the Words of Life in the Scriptures she received today were the greatest treasure she would ever have. I've also just flown into Atlanta to celebrate with my oldest daughter Maggie at her baby shower for our first grand baby. As she picked me up at the airport and I saw that little baby growing in her mommy's tummy I was overwhelmed at how blessed I am. These are big events in the lives of my children and they are beautiful moments of reflection and celebration for their mother.
Moments to ponder how my words have influenced the lives of those I love and how the words I speak could possibly influence their future and even future generations.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the worth of our words. They have such power to influence the lives we touch.
Our words can build up or tear down, challenge or disappoint, inspire or discourage, praise or criticize, protect or deceive. They can comfort or frighten, heal or hurt, show love or hate,
enlighten or confuse, welcome or exclude, forgive or blame, bless or curse, offer wisdom or folly,
restore or destroy.
As I've considered the lives of those I have lost in recent months I'm reminded of how powerfully their words have affected and influenced my life. And so I don't want my words to be careless. I want them be thoughtful, Spirit led, and full of wisdom and kindness like those who have blessed me.
Even common conversations can be profound.
Take a moment and think of a conversation you have had that impacted your life in some way for good.
Perhaps it was with a grandmother, a teacher, a parent, a co-worker, a trusted friend, a daughter, a son, a cousin, a customer, even a stranger. Words spoken can affect our self-esteem, our faith journey, our values, our plans, our failures and successes in life.
These words of influence can also be written. This past week I was continuing my "clean out/simplify my life" adventure that I began last summer. (This has been a very slow and painful process for me and my ever patient husband Ken!) I was going through boxes in my closet that contained letters I had saved. I came across a beautiful note of thanks from my mom, a letter from my cousin whom I buried last Saturday encouraging me about the value of family as she had discovered old letters and photographs, an old hand written Valentine card from my Dad, a note of tenderness from my sister when times were hard for me, and countless, beautiful cards of love from my husband and children, There was a box of special cards full of blessing and wisdom from friends through the years that I have saved. Needless to say, not much was cleaned out of those boxes! And that's as it should be for those words have impacted my life and helped to mold and encourage me along the way.
Going through those boxes made me want to be more diligent to write a note or letter to those who need a word that will display the love of Christ in their life.
Is there someone the Lord is bringing to your mind whom you could call or write words of encouragement, wisdom, comfort, or kindness?
Our words, through the power of His Spirit at work within us, have the ability to restore, to heal, to inspire and to offer hope.
Let us not take the privilege
and responsibility for granted!
On the plane ride to Atlanta this morning I searched the Scriptures for God's wisdom about our words. I hope that His truth will encourage and inspire you in your faith journey. Take a moment to reflect and ponder His Words of Life. As you read the verses below consider choosing one of the Scriptures that resonates with your heart and meditate on it throughout this week.
Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)
A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 12:25 (NIV)
Anxiety weighs down the heart,
but a kind word cheers it up.
Ephesians 6:19 (NIV)
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known
the mystery of the gospel,
Matthew 12:36 (NIV)
But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Proverbs 25:11 (ESV)
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
Proverbs 15:4 (NIV)
The soothing tongue is a tree of life,
but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.
Spend a few moments in prayer asking the Lord to fill your mouth with His words of wisdom, blessing and love today.
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