I have been reminded a lot lately that the public front which we spend so much time and energy projecting. Like the face of a clock, it is probably the simplest, least influential part of a clock’s function. The small, intricate pieces that are hidden from sight are what actually makes a clock work.
The same can be said about our words. Our words are small, but it only takes one thoughtless word or comment, one hurtful piece of gossip to de-rail an otherwise positive conversation, to damage a relationship, and to break down what was given to us to build up. And we are warned about this in the Bible. Proverbs 18:21 says:
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
As we begin this study of Karen Ehman’s book, we need to understand how influential our words are; more so than any public persona or image you may have created for yourself. What we say is important to God. I was amazed to learn from Karen that the words tongue, talk, speak, words, mouth, and silence occur 3,500 times in the Bible! I believe that what the scriptures emphasize we need to take careful note of.
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. Luke 6:45
I think Karen points out the key concept in this discussion of controlling our words- long before our words go wrong our hearts are in the wrong place (page 18). Our words reveal so much of who we are, what we care about. If we are struggling to control the words we speak perhaps there is an opportunity here for some self-reflection. Ask God to show you what has crept into your heart that is feeding the negative words of gossip that have more power in your life than they ever should.
As we read this book together, let open our hearts. Let’s be willing to be wrong and open to correction. We all have something to learn because we are all human who fall far short of perfection. I want my words to build up, to strengthen. I want my words to be tools God can use to help someone else.