Words Matter (by Len Winneroski)

ps-duct-tape-mouth_thumb[1]This past week I have been going through a lot of emotions which has led to an epiphany. WORDS are very powerful. In fact, WORDS are so powerful that I think that I am going to start duct taping my mouth when I get too emotionally charged. I’ve said a lot of WORDS this past week and unfortunately most of the WORDS that have spewed out of my mouth were, frankly, not that helpful to those around me.

We have been talking about world views in the high school youth program at my church. Your worldview is your frame of reference from which you process, judge and react to the people and events around you. For instance, if you believe that there is a God you may view the world differently than if you don’t believe that there is a God. Personally, I believe there is a God who created the universe and that we are accountable to God for the way that we treat others while we are alive, including the WORDS that we speak.

The bible teaches us that what we think and say about Jesus Christ will define how we spend eternity. The bible says, “if you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) God created the human heart and He knows that there is a highway to hell or heaven from our hearts to our mouths. God created the human brain to be the braking system to help us decide which WORDS travel from our hearts to our mouths on this highway. If you want to know what a person believes about God, and the people around them, just listen to their WORDS.  If WORDS didn’t matter to God then why does the bible say that we must confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord? Isn’t it OK to just think that Jesus is Lord in our brain? I guess not.

Yesterday my son and I had the chance to spend the afternoon together as I was driving him back to Indiana Wesleyan University. I used a lot of WORDS to tell my son how proud of him that his mom and I are. I made myself vulnerable and exposed my heart through my WORDS so that he could get to know his dad a little bit better since he is a man now. My son is a much better listener than his dad. He told me that they are taught in nursing school that part of their jobs as nurses is to just listen to their patients as they vent. Active listening is actually part of their treatment.

My son has much better self-control that his dad. I asked him yesterday how he has learned to control his tongue so well as he has matured. He told me that he once heard somebody say that you can learn a lot about yourself if you listen to your WORDS as they come out of your mouth to see how many times that you use the WORD “I”. I know that I say I too much. We all do by default. I’m wondering if the WORD worldview has been misnamed. Maybe it should be called your Len-view or Sally-view, etc. If you want to have a God-view there is only one way to achieve that. You must read the WORD of God. The bible says that, “in the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was God. He was with God in the beginning.” (John 1:1-2)

WORDS matter. Satan can’t read your mind, but if you spew out whatever you are thinking like a broken fire hose all the time, like I do you, Satan always knows what you are thinking. Since he knows what you are thinking, he can then leverage what he learns from your WORDS to hurt you and hurt others around you. I’m not a military genius, but I don’t think that it is good practice to call up your enemy and tell them what you are thinking and planning. The bible says, “above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23) The bible also says, “no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8) God’s WORD clearly warns us to guard our hearts and control our tongues.

WORDS matter. Spoken WORDS. Written WORDS. WORDS can be a great encouragement to others or they can hurt and leave deep and painful scars. The bible says that we should encourage others, not tear them down (hopefully you will take my WORD on that one but please check it out for yourself). The bible also says that the timing of our WORDS is important too. “Like golden apples set in silver is a word spoken at the right time.” (Proverbs 25:11)

If you sense that God is urging your heart to say a WORD of encouragement to someone, and you are too busy or self-absorbed to do it, you may miss an opportunity to be used by God. Hopefully by now you are seeing that our WORDS matter and that God and Satan use them to achieve Godly or ungodly purposes in our lives, and in the lives of those around us.  So lets be careful with our WORDS my dear friends. It’s a matter of life and death.

3 thoughts on “Words Matter (by Len Winneroski)

  1. Good reminder Len. It seems as though we have become a world of argument and hate. People in news, sports, and entertainment can only speak words of anger. I don’t talk much but I am determined to change my thought pattern to be less judgmental and to look for opportunities to speak something positive. Lets change the world!! At St. Francis Hospital, I saw a plaque with their mission statement which was simply, “To continue the mission of Christ.” His mission was all about compassion, healing the sick, and feeding the hungry. Jesus wanted us to live in the spirit of God and not just at the temple.  Ed Lyons

  2. Enjoyed your article. The tongue is powerful; the Bible says so… Life and death is in the POWER of the tongue. It could have said, Life and death is in the muscle of the tongue. I’ll be checking my mouth for life-giving words.

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