I’ve often marvelled at what we can create with 26 letters. By combining these little symbols, we can write books, encourage others, set legal agreements in place and convey love and admiration. Conversely, we can also use sets of letters to hurt, pull down and destroy relationships and trust.
James 3:5 warns us of the dangers of our tongue and the words we speak. “Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (NIV)
In some ways, written words can be more powerful than spoken words. Have you ever received a note or report than has left you devastated, a criticism from a teacher or friend, or just a nasty message from someone who doesn’t like you? Those little combinations of words have the potential to ruin lives and having them written down makes the damage greater. We tend to go back to them and read them over and over.
As writers, we should measure our words, assess them and see if they match God’s standards. Would the Lord be happy with the way we construct our stories and articles? Do they inspire, educate and help or do they put down minorities, poke fun at people and use vulgar language? Do we use our words to write positive notes to others and spread hope?
I encourage you today to think of the words that pass your lips and also those that flow through your fingertips to your laptop. With writing, we have the advantage of being able to edit what we’ve written and change words before the readers view them. When we write a paragraph and leave it for a while, we often see errors when we go back to it. Let’s make a decision today to think before we speak and adjust our thoughts before they spill out unedited and cause pain to those around us.