Pillar 4: Words
We recently added a puppy to our family whose name is Joy. The first few days with Joy were exciting and exhausting. We’ve never had a pet and I had very little knowledge of what to expect. I didn’t understand how a pet could become such an important part of the family until she joined us.
While talking to one of my best friends about the difficulty we had been experiencing in the training process, she shared that we needed to work on training ourselves on how to train our new puppy. She said, “Dogs have a very limited vocabulary. They can only remember about 40 words. So as a family you will have to decide what words you will use to teach her what you want her to know.”
This amazed me, and later led me to thinking about how different life would be for us if we were just as selective with the words we used when communicating with others. What if we were more intentional about what we said, and focused only on saying what was most important and necessary?
Solomon was no stranger to the importance of using words selectively, intentionally, and wisely. As a matter of fact he had a lot of words to say about how we should use our words. Let’s look at a few of his thoughts in the Proverbs:
My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words (Proverbs 4:20).
Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards (Proverbs 12:14).
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare (Proverbs 15:1).
A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered (Proverbs 17:27).
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences (Proverbs 18:21).
Solomon wants us to understand and acknowledge the true power we hold with our words, and that it would be wise for us to use them sparingly and intentionally. Words carry results. What results do you want your words to have?
Pause and Ponder: How are your words reflecting the wisdom and heart of God?