I've been thinking alot today about the use of words.
I say alot of words. I hear alot of words. Many of the words i speak and listen to aren't thought about, they're just spoken. "What are we doing today?" my daughter may ask, "Whatever you like" i reply. My words have such power. Her words have such power. The question she posed and the answer I gave are enough to start a revolution - but i imagine we'll go to the park, have some lunch, play with friends and hang out.
Our words can build each other up or bring each other down. Can create community or destroy it. Love or hate. Break or heal. They really do have incredible power. "I have a dream…", "We shall fight them on the beaches…", "Run, fools…" - words stay with us - words motivate us - words can crush us.
I say this because there are times, many times when we get to think about what our words do and what our words really say or don't say. Proverbs, a book of wisdom in the bible, puts it like this:
Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose. (Proverbs 18:21)
I was in a conversation these past few days where someone said something that left me feeling bruised. Their intention was not to hurt or wound me but the effect of the choice of words did. I am sure there are many times, i can think of many right now, where i have hurt others by the choice and timing of my words - please forgive me, pain was not my intention.
At the cross Christ speaks. It is rare for anyone in a situation like that to speak, let alone speak the words he spoke. As he spoke the entire created world trembled and shook - "IT IS FINISHED" he said. Simple, short but life giving.
The need for us to prove ourselves with our words or our actions, the need for us to say enough to convince you we're right, the need for us to talk our way into the presence of God with eloquent words, the need for us to persuade each other of our opinion, the need to stand our ground, fight our corner or speak in such a way as to defend our position is finished. Christ said enough in those three words to end the power of sin and death, the power of poisoness words, when he said "It is finished".
I, you, we don't need to use our words for anything other than to give life and bear fruit - Jesus has done everything so we can be free to enjoy the speech he has given us. We are free. Now there's freedom of speech.