Read Proverbs 25
I love the show Mythbusters. If you haven’t seen it, let me tell you a little about it. The cast made up of special effects guys and gals who test common and uncommon myths to see if they’re possible, plausible, or impossible. When I was younger, I would watch this show all day long and for a brief stint I wanted to be one of them. I mean, who wouldn’t want to get paid for creating devices that blow things up? They’ve tested things like being knocked out of your socks, splitting an arrow in two with another arrow, and most every duct tape myth imaginable.
There was one episode during which they tested if a glass could be broken with just the power of someone’s voice. We’ve all seen this done in movies, but it hadn’t ever been documented in real life until that particular Mythbusters episode. You can watch a recap of it here.
The sound waves from our mouths are incredibly powerful, as the video shows. But how often do we really think about the power of what’s coming out of our mouths? During the course of an average day, how many times do we think about what our words are doing to ourselves? What about to those around us? For me, that number is far lower than it should be. I am often unaware of my language and how it affects those around me, for the good and the bad. I tend to focus on the areas that I fall short in this regard, kicking myself after the fact for a stupid, reactionary exchange. Recently, I had a conversation with a friend of mine who was encouraged by my communication, though I never would’ve realized how much my words have impacted her had she not told me.
In today’s Proverb, I think Solomon is inviting us to take a closer look at our communication. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and read through the text again, focusing on how many times some method of communication is mentioned.
It’s a lot right?
Here are a few of my favorites:
Like billowing clouds that bring no rain
is the person who talks big but never produces.
Patient persistence pierces through indifference;
gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses.
Like a cool drink of water when you’re worn out and weary
is a letter from a long-lost friend.
Our words carry more power than we realize. God used his word to bring the entire universe into existence and he bestowed upon us a similar gift with our ability to speak. In someone’s life, we can create an atmosphere conducive to life or death, love or hate, courage or fear, freedom or sin. We can create positive life-giving atmospheres or those that make people want to run for the hills. Is your speech soothing or harsh?
Today, let’s conduct our own experiment, choosing to think before we speak and see what happens. Let’s be intentional that we speak the truth in love, say what we mean, mean what we say, and do our best to speak gently and kindly. We’ll likely fail throughout the day, but the awareness of our words is what’s important here. I would love to hear how it went, comment below and let’s talk about it. Who knows how changing our communication could change our world!