How much did you talk yesterday? Can you remember half of what you said?
Some of us talk more than others, but even those of us who are considered quiet say a lot during the course of a day. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, our existence is defined by words.
Because talking is so natural, we don't pay much attention to what we're saying. But in my many years of studying the Bible and counseling people, I have come to realize the significance that God places on words, and the lasting impact they have on us and on others.
First, our God-given ability to communicate makes us unique in all of creation. Unlike the flora and fauna, we are designed in his image (Genesis 1:27) and can share our thoughts, desires and emotions with one another through words.
Second, the first words human ears ever heard came from the mouth of God (Genesis 1:28-30). The Creator of the universe unlocked the doors of life to humanity using words as his key. To this day, there is nothing we depend on more than our ability to give and receive communication.
Third, sin has radically distorted our words, resulting in much hurt, confusion and chaos. Just like Adam and Eve denied guilt, accused one another and blamed God (Genesis 3:12-13), our words often ignore God's design and are employed for selfish gain.
Finally, the Bible teaches us how to get from where we are to where God wants us to be with our words. And in Christ Jesus, we find the grace that provides all we need to speak as God intended for us to speak.
While those four principles about words may seem elementary, don't take them for granted. I must confess that on many occasions, I forget the weight God puts on words and am careless with how I communicate.
I would encourage you to take extra time today and reflect on the questions below. Words belong to God, and he has lent them to us so that we might know him and be used by him.
How seriously do you treat that blessing and calling?
- Do your words reveal a willingness to serve others, or do they reflect an entitled attitude to be served?
- How can you use words today to bless and encourage someone? Identify at least one person and communicate with them.
- What words did you speak last week that you need to confess and seek forgiveness for? Be specific.
- How careless were your words yesterday? How can you take your talk more seriously today?