“Words, so innocent and powerless…when standing in a dictionary, how potent for good or evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne(1804-1864) American Novelist
I’m considering small things; the rudder of a ship, a tiny spark, a bit in the mouth of a horse, my tongue. And suddenly I don’t want to consider it, don’t want to give it one little thought, want to put it to bed and forget it.
A small thing that corrupts me. A small thing that sets to destruction.These small things, these tongues of ours, also known as pride, preservation and prejudice. A small thing that speaks from the overflow of my heart (Matthew 12:34).
And I’m seen. Ripped through. Exposed.
What a gift to be shown one’s selfishness, greed, and gluttony for self-protection, wants and desires, our own brand of salvation. But we hide, for it is dark and disformed. It is not who Christ has made us to be, drenched in his blood. It’s as if we dip our toes in and say, “It’s too much and not everything. I just need to make my point clear. Then I can come back.”
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Proverbs 18:21
It can be tortuous to turn one’s back to the all the comments, all the words said that would have been received with encouragement, but only said, “You’re not good enough, aren’t gifted enough, not faithful enough.”
Bitterness takes hold. It grasps what’s left and grows quickly, filling every space needing filling. It grows in the heart.
And out of the heart, the words flow over the tongue. They feel strange and evil, but leave a sense of power. We can say whatever we want. After all, that is what we want. Yet under it all, we want to be healed. Need to be healed. Need to be told we are enough. Reminded that He is enough.
Instead the fire grows, and grows, and grows. It destroys friendships, it breeds distrust, it roots in and lives in death.
“We will have to give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word spoken” Matthew 12:36
Eventually, the power is revealed as false, the fortified walls of protection crack, and we are bare. We decide if we will be visable to others, but make no mistake, WE. ARE. SEEN.
We are seen. Our words are felt. Our hearts are on display.
All the heaped up piles we lug around and try to cover are heard. But if we’ll let them burn, a beautiful word could come. Something lovely could be not just heard, but seen.
“Encourage one another daily.” Hebrews 3:12.
And as we consider the small things, let us consider every word – for its truth, for its encouragement, for its healing salve in deep, deep wounds.
Let us remember The Word, Jesus Christ as we make choices with our speech. And let us pray for the attitude of our hearts, for the power we possess for freedom and for love.