Twenty-six little letters. Some stand straight and tall. Some squiggle around this way and that. Some blend in with the others around. These distinct letters each have a sound and a name. However, the real power come when they are arranged together to form words. As someone who writes, reads and speaks, I absolutely love words.
The first words of my children so many years ago still ring in my ears and the “I love you” today both melt my heart like the liquidy sweet drops of an ice pop on a hot summer day.
Words can be tragic – “not thriving”, “it’s cancer” or “I never loved you” shattering my heart into thousands of fragmented pieces.
Words can be triumphant – “you’re pregnant”, “first place” or “you’re the winner”.
Words can cut to the core – “you can’t”, “worthless” or “failure”.
Just a few seemingly innocent letters strung together, yet they have the power to build or destroy another person. Whoever first said, “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was so wrong. A physical wound will leave marks, but generally heals quickly. However, words can leave scars so deep that it will forever alter the person – the way he or she acts, lives and trusts.
This is why the Bible warns us several times to guard our tongue and think before we speak. However, in this day when texts, tweets and status updates consume our world, we have to also be mindful of the written word.
This week I encourage you to think of the power encapsulated in the letters you choose to string together and make certain it will be life building and God honoring. You and I have the power to choose. What will you choose today?
In honor of the new online Bible study starting today over at Proverbs 31, Max Lucado’s Before Amen, I am giving away an advanced reader’s copy of his novel, Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe. It is a wonderful book and I would love to share this book with you. All you need to do is leave a comment on my blog this week. I will announce the winner on Friday. Don’t miss out!