I love words. Always have. They are powerful, important, influential, endearing, instructive, inspiring and tender. But like a kaleidoscpe when the cylinder is spun in the shadows and we see a dark and different design, so, too, words have the tainted potential to be devastating, defeating, derogatory, discriminating, demeaning and divisive.
Look at this Proverb:
He who has knowledge spares his words. Proverbs 17:27a
This proverb doesn’t say knowledge is silent but rather suggests that knowledge is into selectivity and brevity. This brings to mind a picture of an old man leaning on the steady cane of knowledge; attached to his belt is a small purse. Inside that purse resides his carefully chosen words for the day. He has counted them out, and he holds them close until needed. Note the contrast in size and purpose between the cane and the purse.
I know from experience that the longer I talk, the more likely I am to regret something I say. Hmmmm. Maybe that’s what this verse is about.
I know I have been guilty way too many times of saying things that I shouldn’t. Over the years as I have matured, I have learned to think about how my words will impact the people that are hearing them. I don’t ALWAYS get this right but I try. I love your visual of the man and his cane with the purse. Knowledge is power and words have the ability to enhance or destroy that power.
I am a talker by nature. I have been convicted lots regarding talking too much and not listening enough. Your blog post has reaffirmed that I need to keep working and always be aware of the power of my words, both to encourage or to tear down. My heart desires to be an encourager.
This is me on a daily basis I’m afraid!
Yes…the longer I talk, the more likely I am to regret something I say. So true for me, too. And in answer to your question at the end, I stew and fret over it for a while…could be days. Then, since it was most likely something that hurt someone, I ask God to help me find His words to apologize. Doesn’t always happen but it’s my desire to try to make things right.
Once told someone that I didn’t want to communicate with them any more, mainly because that person was speaking derogatorally of a good Christian person that I admired. There was never an apology or a change of heart. I still don’t want to talk with that person, but someone else was angry with me for it. I love that person so it took a while to mend that fence. Yes, words do have consequences and reveal our character in ways that nothing else can, so we should always think before we speak.
Love this, love words, LOVE YOU!! I’ve been to a couple of Women of Faith and your my favorite (shhhh don’t tell the others – I love them too but your the best!). Thanks so much for being who you are and sharing it at WOF and in your writing.
Just (finally!) started writing too.
Yes! I can go into a manic state of babbling!
Yes. Thinking before one speaks is good. I wrote a post called “What Is Your Heart Condition” not only about the words we speak but the words we write while using social media. Blessings to you!
I never got in trouble for something I didn’t say. Interestingly enough, I have been in trouble many times for what I did say. It was so hard for me to learn that even though I HAVE an opinion, I don’t always need to share it. After 50+ years of talking, I still have to ask God for help choosing the right words sometimes because, like so many of us,”the longer I talk, the more likely I am to regret something I say.”
Just bought Kaleidoscope and am reading the first chapter tonight. I carry a tag on my keychain that says “Open mouth, insert foot.” I tell friends that I don’t stop with one… I usually go ahead and insert both feet at the same time and get it over with!