Sunday, January 22, 2012

WORDS

~Please Watch This Short Video Before Reading~


Words, just words. They pour out of our mouths every day. Unfortunately,   they often pour out without a thought behind them. They can hurt, inspire, teach, encourage, condemn, uplift, marginalize, gossip or be an affirmation of love. Words come at us constantly throughout the day - radio, TV, billboards, texts, Tweets and the internet in general. Words are the tools that can sway a country, through the oratory gifts of a Hitler or a Martin Luther King. They are the medium by which we learn. They are the way we express our love. They are the weapon we use to destroy another person. Words, just words...


We all have words that have stuck in our minds. Something said by a parent, loved one, mentor or teacher. We have no idea if our words will register in the mind of the person with whom we are communicating. If you have ever been the parent of a teenager, you wonder if they are even penetrating their skull. Yet, I know that is incorrect, those words were heard, maybe not heeded. Words have a tendency to come back around and pop back into our heads years after they were spoken. I once read, and can't remember where, that it takes seven positive words to make up for the damage made by one negative word. 

I remember my Junior High School Counselor telling me I should take mainly shop classes (vocational/mechanical classes). He said, "You will probably work at the Standard Oil Refinery, you don't need to worry about College." Being who I am, I took that as a challenge, I hope he knew I would. But those words motivated me to go to College and eventually Graduate School. How many others would have taken them at face value and never realized their true potential.

I also remember the words of a minister named Lynn Anderson. He slowly and patiently shared the grace of God with me. He helped me realize that no amount of legalistic adherence to Dogma brought me closer to God. He taught me to see the beauty of God in everyone I meet. To see people as Jesus saw people; made in the image of God. To be quick to forgive and slow to condemn. I learned to listen to the "story" that each person possesses. To not judge people based on where they are today, but rather where they are in the story of their life.

In the Gospel of John, he begins with these words:

"In the beginning was the word..."

In this verse, John is talking about Jesus. However he uses a very powerful Greek word - logos. In my library I have a series of books called, The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. When it attempts to define logos, 200 pages are dedicated to this one word. Among many of the definitions are: mind, thought, expression, reason and communication. John chose a word that is full of dynamics and is multifaceted.

In the same way words are more than just words. They carry with them power. As a kid I used to hear, "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me". Today, at almost 60, I can say, "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can rip my heart to shreds." or "Material things can make me happy for a bit, but words can change my life forever."

Everyday you have the opportunity to change the world around you. I would encourage you to choose your words wisely. Do your best to make your words a blessing to the people you interact with. See if encouragement gets better results than judgment. Don't get me wrong. I still have a tendency to blast people, but I am trying to control that.

So, with all that being said - Change your words and change the world.

Peace
~Al
~I am available to speak at churches or other groups. 
Contact me at al.lachner@gmail.com~

WORDS, JUST WORDS...