Words are powerful things, and must be wielded carefully! I pray before and while I’m writing every post that my words are completely directed by the Lord. Thankfully, He often gives me little reassurances through the words of a friend, a song, or a perfectly timed devotional. So I trust, even when what I write is a tad more direct and less “flowery”, that my words will not merely encourage but also inspire you and even challenge you.
Here’s a “free-word association”, in the truest sense of the… word! And, I still ended up rhyming, too, so it’s sort of a poem. Bonus!
Say the word. Spell a word. Give the word. Write the word. Reword. Send word. Sound out a word. Words in pictures. Express in words. Choose your words wisely. Word of mouth. My word is my bond. I give my word. A picture is worth a thousand words. Use your words. Words of wisdom. Words on a page. Let a word slip. Hurtful words. Healing words. Words of hope. Sad beyond words. Sometimes there just are no words.
What’s the word? The word I love?
The written Word of my Lord above.
Words through all eternity.
Words can bring peace and unity.
Words can cut. Words can kill.
Words can lift others, joy to instill.
Words of life. Words of love.
Words sent from the Father above.
The Holy Word of God is my sword
and I use my words to praise Him.
© Ladeena Ashley
6-1-93 (revised 8-12-16)
Words Of Kindness
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “practice random acts of kindness”. It’s great, if done in His name, but it is also imperative to practice speaking words of kindness. Never has that been more important than on social media, where nowadays even a single careless or unkind comment can spark a fiery series of accusatory reactions. Usually it’s best to hold your (virtual) tongue and simply scroll past. It reminds me of the old adage: “if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all”, which is good advice. So if you must comment, make sure it’s positive, loving, and sincere. Is your attitude less than humble at that moment? Just move along, partner. Better yet, close the page, walk away, and pray for that person. A wise friend once told me that it’s hard to be angry with someone as you’re praying for them! However, with the growing number of negative posts, you might be praying a lot; but that could really be a good thing!
Show Them God’s Love
Okay, here’s a tough one…what about people who are different than you, are making unhealthy choices, or whose lifestyle you don’t agree with?
The first thing to remember is: God loves them as much as He loves you. He doesn’t play favorites (Acts 10:34; Deuteronomy 10:17). No one is perfect. We all fall short of what God intends, just in different ways (Romans 3:23). Show mercy to them because God has shown mercy to you.
The second thing is: We shouldn’t expect that non-believers adhere to standards that don’t apply to them…yet. Let’s put it another way: Jesus didn’t say, “change and follow Me”, He simply said, “follow Me”, and in doing so, we are changed. In fact, the only folks we are allowed to judge are those within the believing community, those who claim to know Christ and who have agreed to His follow His ways. (1 Corinthians 5:12).
So by all means, show mercy and “love people into the faith” so to speak. You can share God’s love without necessarily condoning all they do. How? I do it by daily surrendering myself to God in humble prayer, acknowledging that I am His and can do nothing on my own (John 15:5), offering myself as His ambassador, committed to be His light in the dark places and to everyone I meet. By studying His Word and hiding it in my heart (Psalms 119:11), and by daily praying for opportunities. Also, I bear in mind that my part may be simply to plant or water; someone else may be harvesting later. Best of all, the outcome isn’t dependent on us! The Spirit does most of the work, giving the right words to say (Luke 12:12; 21:14-15), and helping guide them toward the hope that’s found in God through Jesus, the very Word of God! And His Word never returns empty (Isaiah 55:11)!
© Ladeena Ashley
2016 All Rights Reserved (main content & blog photos)
For more reading about the power of words, I invite you to read James 3:1-12.
Below is a link to a collaborative song by Hawk Nelson and MercyMe. It’s been playing in my head lately, and fits this post perfectly!
YouTube link: Words – Hawk Nelson ft Bart Millard
(Note: link will open up in a new window)