I use words all day long. Even when I am alone, I use words to communicate with God and to fight not yet encountered situations in my mind. So, even when my vocal chords are not producing audible sound, words run through my head.

They communicate everything I need others to know and many things I do not wish for them to know. You see, the spoken word does not make the journey from my head to my vocal chords and out into the air unaccompanied. Our words are accessorized.

I might dress them up with a smile and a lilting tone or I might let them slip out unawares with a frown and a bored tone. And then there is my body language. My words can say one thing while by body speaks a whole different language. It’s amazing what all comes together to produce a single sentence.

I would love to say that I always wait, making sure my words are presentable, before sending them out into public. Unfortunately, I do not. At times, my impassioned thinking races ahead of my words and opens the gate before I can give them a once over. These words usually end up feeling rather sharp and barbed to the recipient.

Other times, my hunger, exhaustion, body temperature (too hot or too cold), hurries words out of my mouth before a close examination. These words also tend to be less appealing. Often impatient and stunted, they push others away rather than drawing them close.

The worst kinds of words are those spoken from a place of hurt. It is said that hurting people hurt people. And that is so true with words. These words cut, bruise and maim, leaving havoc in their wake.

What kind of words do you generally hand out? Well-thought, orderly words ready to greet the public? Or hastily dressed, rushed out the door words that should have done a quick pass by the hall mirror?

Words are powerful and it’s worth taking a few minutes examining them. today, I will leave you with this scripture from James.

2Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way…6And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire…. 8but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 9Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.

James 3:2-12

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