by Tim Howard
I grew up in a family of 7 children. When you add a father and a mother to the mix you have a full house. I believe all of us kids felt loved but none of us can remember our father ever saying the words: “ I Love You!”
One of the greatest ways to show care, concern and compassion is by speaking to each other in love and that means more than saying those three little words – ‘I Love You.’ According to Ephesians 4:15 – The Apostle Paul declares: “…speak the truth in love so that we will grow up and look like Christ...”
Speaking is the ‘means’ – Love is the ‘mode’ and truth is the ‘message.’ When you combine these three elements an atmosphere is created, which enables a person to grow up, mature and become the individual he or she was meant to be.
Of course there are many ways of conveying love but words are among the best! Actions may speak louder than words but they aren’t intended to be a substitute for words. It’s not one or the other - it’s both – Show and Tell! When you show evidence of your concern and then express it through words – love becomes powerful!
A word of encouragement from a teacher to a child can change his or her life. A word of encouragement from a spouse can save a marriage. A word of understanding can help a person grow in wisdom and someone who speaks a word of hope can break the spirit of depression.
Words have power! They can destroy or build up. They can bring life or death – heal or hurt – devastate or shape a person’s attitude.
When someone speaks out bitterness and resentment he or she hurts people and when you add a little dab of anger, plus a little dose of hatred you have an explosive combination. The type that devastates!
On the other hand, when someone speaks a comforting word, an encouraging word or an uplifting word to a person – joy is released, hope is realized and their experience is positive.
James 3:2 -10 “…If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you’d have a perfect person, in perfect control of life. A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!
It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. This is scary: You can tame a tiger but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth! My friends, this can’t go on.” MSG
Don’t believe the old adage: 'Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me' because it’s not true.