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Can’t Take ‘Em Back

“Oh Pam, those glasses make you look so ugly!” Micheal Scott spewed as he entered the reception area. I’m not really a fan of The Office but I just so happened to be flipping through the channels while pondering this subject – Our Words.

If you ask my wife, “What’s one thing that gets you husband into trouble?” she would correctly answer, “His mouth.” I have the uncanny sense of seeing things black and white and sometimes lack the common sense to keep to myself. If I had a dollar for everytime I said something, made a crack, took a poke, basically said something I shouldn’t have I’d be a very wealthy man.

The Book of Proverbs in The Bible is filled with wisdom and most of the sayings contrast to sides of an issue. For the most part one is good and the other not so much. In the quote above the guy who speaks “rashly” does damage just like a sword. Truth is our words hurt and as the saying goes “cut like a knife.” The thing is “rashly” doesn’t neccesarily mean hurtful. It can be thoughtless babbling, chatter, or unadvised speech.

The contrast to rashly is “wise…truthful” speech. The Bible says words like that can bring healing and help establish you. My dad always said, “Your only as good as your word.” I know that mostly applies to telling the truth but it can apply to your character as well.

In the New Testament the Apostle Paul instructs believers to use their words to encourage and edify one another. Even if you aren’t a believer and think the Bible is “bunk” the advice is priceless. Doesn’t everyone desire some encouragement? The compliment that makes you feel you really matter. The kind word that makes things alright when so much is wrong. And then there’s edification. We all need to be built up and strengthened and sometimes there’s nothing better than our words. So choose your words and let them be filled with “salt” so they’ll leave the person they fall on thirsting for more.

Recently my words have adversley affected the lives of others. As a Barge Captain I have to evaluate and acces the abilities of others. In my line of work things have to be black or white and any grey could cause damage, pollution, or even death. My accessments were truthful and with these evaluations people further up the food chain have made decisions that have changed lives. Don’t live in the grey but choose your words carefuly…can’t take ’em back.

God Bless,
Vernon