"I used to think the words spoken about us describe who we are, but now I know they shape who we are." Bob Goff, "Love Does"
|Words that have changed me.|
Notice which one is just under the Bible.
I love words. Spoken and written. I'm a talker, a writer, a dreamer. I always have been. It's a gift, except when it's not. Words are powerful, they can shape a person's image of themselves, impart hope, explain beautiful truths and draw others to God.
But words also have the power to destroy. We all know that, we've been on the backside of words flung from a careless mouth that cut to the bone. That's when words are more of a curse than a blessing.
I've been shaped and encouraged by words, and I'm thankful. The words of people who love me have guided and comforted. The Word revealed in the Bible, God sharing his heart with us on paper, is more of a gift than I can fathom.
There are books too, written by men and women who's hearts are on fire, the words blaze off the page and into mine. I'm so grateful, I will never be the same because of the words they've shared. There are several that come to mind immediately.
One of those books is Susie Larson's "The Uncommon Woman". I've read it three times in the last few years and shared it with numerous friends. Her vulnerable, passionate words changed how I saw Jesus and his church. They made me fall in love all over again. But what's even more remarkable is the gift she's given to me personally.
About a year ago I wrote a post and asked if she would share it on her blog. She did! The people in the next county over heard about it that night, all the way from the front porch! For a year or so I've commented on her blog or facebook page and she has responded graciously, personally, warmly, to my comments. Of course she does that with the other women and men who leave comments for her, but that doesn't matter, somehow for a moment I feel heard and valued.
What Susie probably doesn't even realize, but I'm acutely aware of, is the power of her words to speak life, to launch a dream, to cast a vision. Why is that, why does she have such power? I believe it's because people like myself have recognized the influence of the Holy Spirit in her life. In a way we're not just hearing what Susie Larson thinks when she speaks to us, we're hearing from God.
That realization got me thinking. What if we all thought of our words as a sacred trust? What if we all realized that we have the power to speak words of life and death, to kill a heart or resurrect a dream? What if we were so in tune with Jesus and the truth of scripture that people, our children and husbands, our co-workers and neighbors, our friends and enemies, heard the voice of God when we spoke?
"The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions." Proverbs 10:11
What do you think? Do words have that kind of power? Have you experienced life giving words from another, how about life killing words? Do you use your words as a sacred trust, offering life and hope?