03 Feb Good words worth much and cost little
Syracuse University, New York State in the U.S honors the Graduates passing out of the University every year with a gift, “God’s Little Devotion Book.” In one of the sections, I was challenged to read the following: One day a young altar boy was serving the priest at a Sunday Communion Service being held in the country Church of his small village .The boy nervous in his new role at the altar accidentally dropped the cup of wine. The priest immediately struck the boy sharply on the cheek, and in a very gruff voice, shouted so that many people could hear, “Leave the altar and don’t come back!” That boy who went out with hurts and bitterness became in course of years, Marshall Tito, the communist leader who ruled Yugoslavia for many decades. That church lost a great leader just by the angry words of a priest! How true are the words of King Solomon, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof,” Pro. 18:21.
Similar incident took place in a city cathedral in Europe. A young boy was serving a Bishop at a Sunday communion service. He too, accidentally dropped the cup of wine. The Bishop turned to him, but rather than responding with words of anger, he gently whispered with a warm twinkle in his eyes, “Some day you will be a priest.” That boy grew up to become Archbishop Sheen of Europe.
Mother Teresa once said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are endless” When we speak words of kindness and do acts of kindness, they always return to bless us. Words have power. Words do hurt and pierce like arrows. They wound deeply. As a vernacular proverb says, the wound caused by physical hurt can be healed but the wounds caused by the words of our mouth will never get healed.
One may forgive the person for the hurting words but can never forget the impact of those words for years. The Psalmist asks the question, “What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good ? Keep thy tongue from evil and thy lips from speaking guile,” Ps. 34:12, 13. We need to watch our words. They can be like poison to the heart or they can drip with sweetness of honey. Words once gone out of our mouth, the arrow that goes out of the bow and the opportunity that we have lost will never come back to us!!!.
Words can encourage, edify and give confidence to our hearers. They can be life-changing. King Solomon says, “Pleasant words are a honey comb sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Pro.16:24; further he says, A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Paul instructs us in Colossians 4:6.” let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man”. Even if nobody in the whole world keeps the word, we should still keep ours. This is Integrity. Jesus gives us a warning in Matthew 5:37….”Let your Yes be simply Yes , and your No be simply No; anything more than that comes from the evil one”. God always keeps His word and He expects us to keep ours.We have to count the cost and keep to our commitments. This will help our Fellowship with one another to become real and stronger.
We as God’s children must constantly seek the help of God’s Holy Spirit to control our tongues and guide our words whenever we speak directly to a person, or write a letter,or on the phone or Internet/skype.We need to be swift to hear and slow to speak. When the words are many sin is Let our Yes be Yes!! In our day to-day activities must find God’s signature and approval.
Integrity is being honest and doing the right thing in every situation. We cannot just make others do what is right and not do it ourselves. People watch our words and closely follow our Christian behaviour. not absent,but he who holds his tongue is wise (Pro. 10:19) Jesus warns us about the misuse of words.” But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgement for every careless words they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted and by by your words you will be condemned. (Matt.12: 36,37) Joyce Meyer in her book, Change Your Words . . . Change Your Life, says, “let’s be masters of our mouth, so that we won’t be slaves of our words.”
As we mature spiritually, God wants to transform our minds, attitudes, and also our communication to build the lives of others. It is only the Word of God which abides for ever can bring this internal transformation. As we abide in Jesus and allow His words to abide in us, we will bring forth fruits for His glory. It will be no more striving but trusting God to make us to be the kind of people
He wants to be. In His High priestly prayer Jesus prayed ‘Sanctify them by thy truth your word is truth. (John 17:17) When the words of Christ dwell in us richly, we will be able to speak words of power and help others grow in Christ. Let our prayer each day be, “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) Set a watch O Lord , before my mouth; Keep the door of my lips. Psalm 141 : 3
About the Author
Dr R Earnest Dhanaraj served as an Agricultural Technical Executive in a MNC. Now retired and settled in Vellore with his wife Juliet. Helps Mission Organizations as a Consultant. An active member of Vellore EGF and is one of the Vice-Presidents of UESI.