Word Power

“Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

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I was just thinking about how much power words have.   How words can move me to laugh.  To cry.  To feel someone else’s pain.  To think.  To be amazed.  To make a change.  To cause anger to bubble up.  To make one choice over another.  To take action.  Or not.   

I love quotes.  I love scripture.  I love reading all of your blogs.  I love writing my blog.  I love reading novels.  I love music lyrics. (Y’all are already well aware of my LCD…see #17 on “thankful list”.)  I love to talk.  I love to listen.  Words paint pictures in my head.  Spoken or written.  It makes no difference.  They affect me.

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“I love writing.  I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.”  ~James Michener

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”  ~Proverbs 18:21 (NIV)

“Words, when well chosen, have so great a force in them, that a description often gives us more lively ideas than the sight of things themselves.” ~Joseph Addison

“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” ~Proverbs 16:24 (NIV)

“For words are magical formulae. They leave finger marks behind on the brain, which in the twinkling of an eye become the footprints of history. One ought to watch one’ s every word.”  ~Franz Kafka

“Kind words may be short… but their echoes are endless.”  ~Mother Theresa

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“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”  ~Psalm 19:14 (NIV)

This passage of scripture made a pretty powerful impact on me as a young (and very word UNconscious at the time) teen growing up in the Methodist church.  The church we attended in our small (I mean, one stop light small) Southern town was pastored by a really lovely soft-spoken man named Ellis Bedsworth.  Every Sunday morning during the service, before he gave his sermon, he would kneel down on one knee beside the lectern, in his big robe he always wore, and pray this scripture.  It is probably my most vivid memory of our time at that church.  (Okay, well that and the old dude with the bad comb-over that my brother and I used to crack on all the time.)  But his act of humbling himself that way every Sunday without fail, made me think…What you say and how you say it, and what you think in your heart truly matters.  Be cautious of your words.  I find that I don’t heed this advice often enough. 

“What is wrong with you?  Why don’t you understand that??”  ~Shirley Boone, my 6th grade math teacher

Ouch.  Thanks to those words, I have had math phobia from that day to this.  I’m not kidding.  That woman was pure evil.

“Cause you know, that even when it ain’t alright, it’s alright.” ~My Dad

This is just one of my Dad’s many “isms” that immediately put me at ease.  But I love this one a lot because it’s his way of reminding me that in the scheme of things, when things seem like they are crazy and overwhelming, there is God’s big picture that we cannot see and we have to cling to the fact that regardless of whatever is happening in the “now” picture, it fits somehow into the “big” picture.

“I love you, Mom.”

Nothing compares to those 4 words right there.  Nothing.

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In as much as the words of others have power over me, MY words can have power over others.  I can inspire.  Encourage.  Belittle.  Create joy, pain, hope.  Cause division.  Break relationships.  Or mend them.  Speak truth or perpetuate lies.  All that is within my power.  How I choose to use it is up to me. 

Just a little something I was thinking about.

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