We really need to watch our words. That may be a bit ironic coming from a guy who posts a lot of words on the internets. Trust me. I know. I’ve made more than my fair share of mistakes with some of the posts that I have published.
But really, stop a minute and consider your words before you let them fly. You might not understand the impact they will have on someone else.
I know a guy who was in a youth group once. He was struggling along like most kids except for one thing. His mom was sick. She had experienced something that he didn’t know how to explain to anyone, so he kept it to himself. Some would call it a nervous breakdown. Others might call it mental illness. It took him years to get his arms around it, if he ever has.
One day his youth minster was leading a Bible study. He was teaching about someone who Jesus cast demons out of. All of that was fine until the youth minster said this:
“Most of the people who have mental health problems are demon possessed.”
Boom. There it was. That statement didn’t impact many kids in that youth group.
How do you think it impacted this guy I knew?
Why is it important to watch what you say? You really don’t know the impact your words will have. Within the church, especially, it’s important to know the people. You need to know your audience. You need to know what to and what not to say.
How did that statement affect that kid I knew? Well, that particular youth minister lost him. He went to youth events, but he never listened to another word that particular guy said. He pretty much shut out everyone within that youth group. I wish that he could have been spared that pain. It affected his church life for years.
And wait until you hear what the next youth minister said to him in another post.
Do you realize the impact of your words?
As you can see, the name of the tire store in the picture above is Round Tires. I saw this yesterday and immediately had to take a picture of it. I tweeted it and posted it on Facebook as something I found funny. No one commented or retweeted it, so I will assume that no one look at this with the same humor that I did.
As I thought about it later, I wondered how their business is. Does that name mean much to the folks in that location? I’ve always dealt with tire stores that are built on a name. Porter’s Tires when I was a kid in Morristown, TN. Stevenson’s Tires in Maryville, TN since then. The name of the tire store matters. The word in front of Tires matters to me.
The Word matters to me in my faith too. The Word matters before anything else. John refers to Christ as the Word in the very first sentence of his gospel. “In the beginning was the Word…” The word happened to be with God and was God. That matters, doesn’t it? It matters who the Word is. It matters that the Word is God and has been with God. Just as the word matters before Tires, the Word matters in who He is.
Words in front of other words like Tires affects my patronage. The Word should affect, well, everything. It should if I really believe it. If Christ is God, if He is the Word, my life should be radically altered. That becomes the question, doesn’t it?
Do words matters to you? Does the Word matter to you? Does the Word affect your life?
***A virtual fist bump if you know where this tire store is located***
I listen to a lot of local sports talk radio on my way to work every day. There is one caller in particular that has really been making me laugh of late. It isn’t what he’s talking about that makes me laugh. It isn’t that he basically parrots what he has read on message boards during the night before. No, it’s his use of a certain word that makes me laugh. What word is it?
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m a typical East Tennessee hillbilly. I cannot think of a time that I would ever use the word albeit in a sentence when I am talking to someone, much less when I am talking to them on the radio. I’m sure that he heard someone use on the radio or TV one time and thought that it would be a good word to add to his vocabulary. And truthfully, it’s not a bad word. It just doesn’t fit the character of who he is or what he’s all about. However, I’m going to cut him a break going forward..
Because I’m guilty of the same thing. No, not of using the word albeit, but of not being true to who I am. So are you. We all pretend to be someone we’re not from time to time. I know someone whose favorite word is mischievous. She pronounces it “mischievious”. She looks for opportunities to slip that word into conversation. She thinks it makes her sound like what she’s not. Unfortunately, it highlights exactly who she is. By the way, this same person would also ask me to go places with her husband “and I” sometimes at one point in my life. If I used text and Twitter abbreviations, I would do an SMH right now.
I’ve been guilty of it over the past few weeks. I did it with my blog. I tried to come up with special days to give myself something to write about. I wrote about dreams on Monday. Two for Tuesday. Twitterific Thursday. Follow Friday. Why? I saw other bloggers doing similar things. I was trying to write their posts on my blog. I painted myself into a corner. I wasn’t being me. I was being someone else. (By the way, if you checked out my blog yesterday, you saw that I kept Twitterific Thursday. I ended up liking that one.)
The apostle Paul was someone who was comfortable with who he was. He considered himself the least of the apostles, not worthy of being called to his place in life. He said that “by the grace of God, I am what I am.”
My favorite sailor man, Popeye, seemed to be comfortable with himself. Despite Olive Oyl flirting with Bluto and constantly having to battle him, Popeye could still say, “I yam what I yam!!!”
Me? I’m a husband, a father, and a follower of Christ. I am a runner, a dreamer and a blogger. I am many things…… albeit, I am what I am.
How about you? Are you comfortable with who you are?