Say just a simple ‘Yes, I will’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Your word is enough. To strengthen your promise with a vow shows that something is wrong. – Matthew 5:37
Words have power. We all have them. Do you use your power for good?
My love of words grows more and more each day. They’re so beautiful and powerful. Once I was sitting in Bible study and just hearing about the power of words, how God spoke everything into existence moved me to tears. Yes words touch me to my very core and mean a whole lot to me. That’s why I often take to heart what and how people speak to me. Sometimes I end up heartbroken.
For whatever reason this year, it seems to me more than ever before, my interactions with several have proven to be very disappointing. Do people follow through anymore? What has happened to conscientious living? I thought that people who value your business, relationship or service would put forth the effort to be responsive and engage in meaningful communication. I’ve too often been left wondering what’s really going on. For the most part I’ve given up trying to figure out why and just accepting what is. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt. And even though I “let go and let God,” things still need to get done, stuff is breaking down and distance grows. It’s a hard pill to swallow.
Two of my biggest pet peeves are – people giving me titles of closeness (i.e. sis, cousin, bff) when their actions prove those titles have little meaning; and people swearing on their kids, lives or to God to give their words power. What a waste of beauty to use words that could bring so much pleasure for an empty purpose. What was their point? Who were they trying to convince of our closeness? It’s apparent they weren’t trying to convince me.
I know it’s a long quote but I love the way the Message paraphrase puts it:
And don’t say anything you don’t mean. this counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.
I know I’ve been guilty of telling someone I’ll include them in my prayers and not doing it. Now I make it a point to pray immediately after saying it.
I’m sharing these feelings in hopes that some who are experiencing the same disappointment do not feel alone. Also, I’m sharing in hopes that some that have used their words with false motives would be convicted to do better. I’m sure we all have room for improvement with our use of words.
The Golden Rule is timeless, even in a world where technology causes us to have watered down interaction. Gets me to thinking about how we talk about people not fist fighting anymore because of the proximity required and effort that goes into it. It’s easier to just shoot someone because you don’t have to get too close. It’s also easy to shoot someone a meaningless text, FB message or phone call. That’s why I’ve been waiting to have certain conversations face-to-face. When face-to-face I’m able to discern the meaning from not only the words but the unspoken language of the body, facial expressions and tone of voice. It’s harder to be phony face-to-face.
Getting close and experiencing the fullness of relationship and what comes with it, the beauty and the ugly, that’s where growth takes place. That is where depth and meaning come in. I’ll never know why some are settling for empty words and shallow interactions. All I know is that words affect me deeply, and like my words I want my relationships to be deep and meaningful…So I’ll fasten my seat belt and get ready for a ride that will involve mistakes, disappointments and at times wonderful, beautiful experiences that make it all worthwhile.
I plan to continue to use my words carefully, employ discernment when considering their source, and most of all mean what I say. Somehow no matter how much words hurt, I remain hopeful; I remain open to loving words. What about you? How are you at meaning and keeping your word? ❤