More than casual conversation

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. (Ephesians 4:29)

We might just forget that 'words' are a gift. Each and every one we speak has the power to build up, encourage, point someone in the right direction, confirm, or enable. How many times do we hang onto the ones that do just the opposite? We get all hyper-focused on the ones that didn't actually 'do much for us', or actually weren't meant to 'hurt', but we internalized them as something that hurt us. As important as it is for each of us to watch how we talk (the words that come out of our mouths), it is equally as important that each of us begins to 'weigh' the words we hear for their true value and stop focusing on what it is we thought we heard.

We can 'take' words so many ways, can't we? I could tell you the sky is cloudy today, and you take it to mean we are going to be stuck inside not doing the things we hoped to do outside today. You form a negative 'feeling' based upon the fact I told you there were clouds in the sky. If we were honest about this 'weather report', we might just realize clouds might make for a muggier than desirable day, but it might just hold the temp down a few degrees, making it easier to do those outdoor tasks. Words taken differently - totally dependent on the point of reference we assign to them. If our words are gifts to each other, we might have to change our 'point of reference' on occasion so that we aren't so easily offended when someone says something without thinking it through!

Try as we might, we don't always think before we speak. In fact, there are times when our emotions kick in full-force, and we just get all wrapped up in what we want to say back. We begin to think of ways to 'get back' with our words - something most of us can do without much thinking at all! Although there is a time and a place for casual conversation, it is wise to learn to 'read the moment'. There is also a time for peace and quiet. Words don't always have to be spoken - especially when we can see someone is struggling with something - ruminating over and over again in their minds with something that is bugging them or has them a little concerned. Casual conversation may not be the best in those moments - we may want to remain still until we feel the urge of the Holy Spirit giving us the words we should speak that might actually help the individual sort out what is bothering them.

Words can go very wrong or very right - depending on our point of reference when they are spoken and when they are heard. Indeed, we need to watch them well - being vigilant to consider their impact before they are spoken. We also need to be vigilant in our hearing - so that we don't 'take words' in ways they weren't intended. Casual conversation may just involve words that weren't well thought out and probably wouldn't have been spoken if the other person had of really thought how they could come across to the one hearing them.  Just sayin!


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