“Kind words are like honey…sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24 NLT

Words are powerful.

Beautifully used they can take you places you’ve never been before. When I hear “Puff the Magic Dragon”, I can clearly see the string and sealing wax, and other fancy things little Jackie Paper took to Puff. And when little Jackie Paper comes no more, I can feel Puff’s pain and see the green scales fall like rain.

Powerful words, that first make me laugh, then rip my heart open with pain and my own tears splattering down like rain.

When I read Verln Klinkenborg’s The Rural Life, I can feel and smell the damp earth between my fingers.

Powerful words that take me to a quiet, relaxing place, where the sifting of dirt allows the body to fold in on itself and relax.  And quiet the mind.

And in A Bartenders Tail, Ivan Doig’s words shake the very ground I’m standing on when the town levee breaks, water wiping away an entire town.

Powerful words, that leave my heart pounding fast in fear as the sound of water roars through my ears.

But, used the wrong way they will slice and dice you to your very core and leave you split wide open. Or those you aim them at.

How we use our words reflects who we are, our character, our personality, what we believe in, who we believe in.

And if we are a Jesus lover, they should reflect him and draw others to Him, not send them running in guilt and fear and hopelessness, often feeling judged.

In Lisa Bever’s book Girls With Swords, she says, “Jesus spoke the loudest in his silence”.

Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” But Jesus remained silent. Mathew 26:62-63 NLT

When we are accused, do we remain silent or do we strike back with sharp, hurtful words, cutting to the core? Or do we, like Jesus, remain silent?

Or just in passing, do we drop hurtful words like weapons?

When hurt or attacked, do we hurt back? Or do we walk away, taking the situation to God in prayer, allowing Him to handle it for us?

Our words can win souls for Christ, or send them packing.

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a GIFT. Ephesians 4:29 MSG

Our words should build up, encourage, and not tear down.

Each word a gift.

We need to carefully measure our words,  weigh them out before we dish them out. Make them a gift, lavishing love and praise upon the hearts they fall.

And when they are tossed at us like sharpened spears, remember The One, who hours before his death, stood in silence.

“He stood in silence, not because he had no answer, but because He was the answer.” (Girls With Swords)

He is the answer for your heartache and pain when callous words wound and lacerate.

And let us try not to be the ones who smash lives and hearts to pieces of fragments with our words.

…Let everything we say be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29 NLT

Graced by God

Tammy Mashburn