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Friday, July 21, 2017

Choose a better diet

From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good, but the desire of the treacherous is for violence.  Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. (Proverbs 13:2-3 ESV)

"Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble." (Yehuda Berg) The words we use most frequently reveal a lot about who we are, how we are motivated, what gets our jets fueled, and the things that rile us into action. There don't have to be many of them, but those which are selected to be spoken are the ones that reveal so very much about us!

If you have ever heard the old adage of "eating one's words", you might note the scripture says something similarly. The words of our mouth are what we "dine upon" so very often - because they either reveal fruit which nourishes the soul, or that which makes bitter all it comes into contact with. While I can tolerate a little bitter once in a while, I don't want a steady diet of it! I want there to be a variety of fruit, all with their own luscious "flavor" to lend to the lives of those around me, but not very many "bitter" ones "served up" that overpower the goodness of the others!

When you say you are "eating your words", you are admitting what you said actually was "wrong". Now, if I tell you it is to be a sunny, cloud-free day and you walk out into torrential rainfall, you will return to me drenched and I would "eat my words" on that one. If it is something "recoverable" such as drying one's self off, putting on a dry set of clothes, and setting out again with an umbrella in tow, that is one thing. If those words cut to the quick of your emotions or push against the fabric of your heart, these might just get "eaten" a little more frequently than you might like!

Why is that? Hurtful or harmful words seem to have a "repeat factor" that the good ones don't. Just like the strong onion you eat at dinnertime, both the fragrance and "repeat factor" of that onion stick with you, touching the lives of others in turn. Hurtful words just stick with us - they don't need to be lengthy, nor do they need to be particularly well-spoken. They just hang around a lot longer than we might imagine. Some would think we could shake them off, but that may not be as easy for some to do as you might imagine. They are like that sticky stuff that gets onto something and you just cannot figure out where it keeps coming from, but you feel the affect of it for a long time.

I think this is why so many a political leader, including our own in this country, gets so much attention in the media. Their words matter - and when they are "put out there" before millions of people without much forethought to their outcome, we observe them "eating them" for a lot longer than they ever imagined. Let us learn to use our words wisely, because what gets "eaten" has a way of affecting those who partake of them! Just sayin!