Words Matter

As the New Year starts, I find myself reflecting on the past.  I’m sure I’m not alone.  Taking a moment to reflect on the past provides helpful insights for the future.   I guess that’s why I gave pause when I heard the following statistic about 2013.


According to The Global Language Monitor, some of the most spoken words and phrases of 2013 were Hashtag, Federal Shutdown, Twerking, Fail, surveillance. These may seem like random words.  But, upon closer inspection you can see they provide an accurate snapshot of events that took place in 2013.  Some things we wish we had never seen…. (like twerking).


Think of this list as a time capsule.   Many years from now if someone were to open that time capsule, it would provide insight into the events of that year. Who can forget Miley Cyrus twerking.  I unfortunately have that image seared in my mind.  Or healing the phrase federal shutdown.  Many people were out of work, many others fearing the worst could happen with our country’s finances. Yes, the words are very much like a time capsule.


Now take a moment and think of the top 5 words spoken in your home.  What would the snapshot look like?  This isn’t an exercise meant to evoke feelings of remorse or guilt.  Rather, this is an opportunity.


An opportunity for you to begin really listening to the words you say to yourself, your spouse, God, and your children.  In Luke it says “for out the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks” (vs. 45).  When I read these words, I’m taken aback because this puts a tremendous amount of responsibility back on me, as a parent.  The words I choose to say are a reflection of what’s on my heart.  So a day that I’m having a hard time being patient and not using words of encouragement with my children means I need to get alone with God and have a heart examination.


Our words matter.  Every spoken word carries a tremendous amount of power.    This power can bring about life transformation or it can bring about death.  God spoke life into this world and into Adam.  This is such a challenge, because words can be incredibly destructive.  Can you remember the last hurtful comment that was spoken to you?  Perhaps this was from your spouse or your boss. Words change the way we live and more importantly, the way we view ourselves.


I don’t know about you, but I want the snapshot of my home to include words of love, nurturing and encouragement.   This is powerful because the world can be an awfully tough place, unfortunately with few words of encouragement to be found.  Our homes need to be a place of refuge and safety for our children to grow and thrive.   As I leave you, I encourage you to discuss this article with your spouse or friend and write down those 5 words.  And if you aren’t satisfied with your responses, then write down the top 5 words that you will write down next year.


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