By Kim Childress
Words Matter: Reflections on James 3:3-6
By Kim Childress
A small muscle with a disproportionate power.
Influence through words.
Small things with big impacts.
A few words on a social platform can ruin reputations.
A few critical syllables can live in a person’s head for years and years and years.
The tongue is a paradox
It can give praise, and two drops later drip cruelty.
Blessings, curses, blessings, curses…
The tongue has a will of its own.
A wild animal.
And you don’t know where those words came from,
But they came out…
And once they’re out…
Out of the same.
We will stumble.
We will make mistakes.
In being aware.
We work that small, little muscle.
Slow to Speak, Quick to Listen
“Before you hit send…”
Cliche, count to 10.
If I value you, the words I use deserve thought.
You are important enough for me to think about my words first.
I have value, and I want you to be able to think about that too.
Lord, please open my mind.
Help me see what You see.
Examining what’s in my heart.
It is written man looks at the surface while God looks at the heart.
And what is spoken flows from what is in the heart.
What is in my heart?
A spiral mind,
Fighting constant replay in my head,
Wanting to respond, wanting to speak.
How can I practice self-control in what I speak?
Control over my tongue before cursing others around me,
Hurting with words other children of God made in His image?
Injuring the Holy Spirit within me?
How can I change my heart to love on others as God loves on me?
Even as I suffer betrayal, hurt, injustice, pain?
How can I be full of mercy, understanding, grace,
How can I change the tone of my heart?
Behavior changes when the heart changes.
How can I transform my heart?
Will-power versus wisdom-power.
Am I prone to exaggeration? Always, never, all, every…
Do people around me walk on eggshells?
May I be aware,
Examine the motivations behind my thoughts,
The thoughts that spur words,
May I be graced with wisdom in knowing what words to speak,
May I be quick to listen, slow to assume.
I call out, cry, and lay everything at His feet.
God makes each day new.
I pray to use my words to encourage, inspire, and help initiate change.
I seek to be kind in every conversation and interaction and relationship,
Each situation is its own.
My God, who is the God of Love.
He wants me to speak.
He WANTS us to speak.
Words don’t have to be negative.
One word of encouragement can change an entire day.
Three words can change an entire life.
I love you.
You are loved.
In seeking peace,
Lives are changed, bettered, saved.
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