More Than Words

Great stress should be laid on things we say.  Words are powerful and precious.  Powerful in that they encourage or entomb intentions, and precious in that they enrich and endear individuals.  It can be that words formerly spoken are the only vestiges of the past on which we lay hold.  Semantics are important.  Though it is possible to give too much weight to grammar and miss the real meaning of things spoken, wise people will use words succinctly and sparingly.  When something is common, we treat it with disdain.  When something is valuable, we are careful to conserve its use for appropriate applications..

Sticks and stones aside, words hurt.  I remember things said to me long after the opportunity for redress is past.  On the other hand, they have great restorative value.  Scripture tells us that words both turn away wrath and break bones though they be delivered gently.  As a matter of fact, it is precisely their palatable presentation that makes them effective.  It is tempting to think that verbal assaults win the day, but this is mostly not the case.  Exact wording may be important for the message’s conveyance to be effective.  Our words may lodge in souls or fall to the ground.  It is largely up to us.

Words fitly spoken are gifts to the hearers.  There is an art to saying the right thing at the right time, and I try to learn and remember ways of communicating positivity.  Honestly, I wish I had done it more often.  Maybe then I’d be better at it.  It’s a thing passing strange to me that it takes little innocent input for the tides in our lives to turn.  Many times, those who boost us in our low moments are unaware that they are doing so.  They are exercising their giftedness and grace under the direction of God.  We are tools in the hands of the Almighty, and each have uses particular to ourselves and shared with others.

Jesus said to limit speech.  In fact, He said saying more than yes or no led to sin.  While this assessment seems, at first, harsh, it is absolutely dead on.  We disenfranchise ourselves when we yak it up as a matter of course.  Words are to be used with erudition and forethought.  I recall times I wish I had spoken up, but I recall many more times I wish I had shut up.  Essential to effective living, communication should be approached with care, words carefully chosen and advice sparingly given.  In addition, we should understand there is much more to communication than the words we use.

How we say things may be more important than what we say.  In fact, the manner of speech may directly contradict the message of speech.  Tom Jones said he thought the thing that made Frank Sinatra influential as a singer was the tone of his voice.  I think he’s right.  No one mistakes Old Blue Eyes for anyone else.  In much the same way, people perceive our intent by the delivery of our words, and our true meaning may be unmistakable regardless of our technical expressions.  Additionally, we don’t have to say things exactly right to get our points across and make our concerns understood and felt.

The words we use and the ways we use them matter but so does our appearance in the act.  I once read that 80% of communication is body language.  Whether that’s the number or not, I know the meaning of your words by your presence and demeanor.  In fact, I may know their meaning in their absence.  A glance, a slump or an uplifted brow gives all the information I need, and every one of us is fluent in the universal language of physicality.  You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes, and I’m watching to see if the verbiage matches the vessel when we are seated at the table for the communion of hearts and minds.
Many people take great umbrage at the judgments of others.  While this is understandable (in a way) and such can be unwarranted, Jesus said it is entirely appropriate to judge people by their deeds and may be necessary.  The old axiom regarding actions and words proves true, and the epistles of our lives are known and read of all men.  My actions have failed of my mission statement though I hope enough of my doings lend support to the edifice for there to be a standing structure.  If your interactions with me have modeled concern for me, then you don’t have to say you love me.  I already know.


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