Tag Archive | words


Exodus 3:11a – but Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go……..”

2 Corinthians 12:9 – “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

letterpile I am drinking my coffee this morning and still smiling from the events of a conference I recently attended. I was included in a gathering of women – women of various ages and at various stages in their lives.  We laughed; we cried, and oh, how we talked!  The theme for our meeting was “words”, and there were plenty of words – words of prayer, words of sharing, words of encouragement, even a new word that sprang from a mispronunciation of another word!  At one of the sessions, glass tiles were randomly placed before us so that we could each make a necklace.  My tile had the word “believe” on it. When I saw my word tile, I had no words of my own because I am convinced that my random word tile is actually a word from You.  I am the modern day Moses of Exodus 3 and 4.  I believe in You, but I need to believe in what You can do through me.  I believe that You told me to do something, but I don’t believe I am accomplished enough to do it (Exodus 3:11).  I believe that You are above all others, but like Moses, I believe that I am too inferior to accomplish anything. I believe there are people who speak in Your name, but I don’t believe that I am one of them (Exodus 4:10).  I believe that You tell me to step out, but I don’t believe I can do more than take tiny steps (Exodus 4:1). I believe You are there when I am sure of the direction but sometimes forget to believe You are also there when I am unsure of the next path.  I have come to believe that my reluctance is not a sign of my inabilities, and especially not humility, but instead is a type of unbelief.  I now see and believe that I have been refusing to join You in Your work, and in doing that, I was not believing in Your ability to work through me.  I believe that You remind me as you reminded Moses, that You gave me the gift to speak and You tell me to use the gift You gave to me (Exodus 4:11-12). When I question and offer excuses, You answer “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:9).  When, like Moses, I argue that You need to send someone else, I am hinting that I don’t want to do it because I don’t believe You will come through with Your promise to make me capable.  I believe that You are capable of equipping others but need to believe that You are capable of equipping me.  Through obedience, Moses became a powerful leader—powerful enough to change the course of history and a powerful man of faith. I don’t know that I’ll ever be a powerful leader, but I do believe I can be known as a powerful woman of faith.  I believe that You are Creator of the Universe, and I believe that You are the creator of me. I believe that You knew me before I was even formed in the womb (“I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born.” – Jeremiah 1:5) and I believe that You knew my shortcomings.  I believe that You are capable of equipping me for the work to which You have called me.  Thank You, Lord, for Your words.

Seasoned Language

Ephesians 4:29-30:  Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

Colossians 4:6: Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

brokenbonesAs I’m drinking my coffee this morning and reading Ephesians 4, this verse really jumps out at me. I have an uncle who joined the Navy during WWII. He is the stereotypical sailor, and it is his image that comes to my mind whenever I hear the phrase “curses like a sailor”. Peppering his speech with curse words is so normal to him that he isn’t even aware that he does it. I think most people read Ephesians 4:29-30 with my uncle in mind and therefore think it doesn’t apply to those of us with a less seasoned vocabulary. Actually, the Greek words Paul uses here would paint a picture of something putrid, decaying, and rotten. I translate that to say “don’t be so putrid and rotten in your thoughts that your words naturally come out that way.” We have all heard, and probably most of us said, the children’s rhyme “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Eric Idle said “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will make me go in a corner and cry by myself for hours.” Sadly, I can identify more with the Eric Idle version that with the actual nursery rhyme. Herb Warren said, “sticks and stones may break the bones but leave the spirit whole, but simple words can break the heart or silence crush the soul.” My own version would be “Sticks and stones may break my bones but they will heal and be strong. Words will be forever in my head and always tell me I am wrong.”   When do we use foul and dirty language? Unkind comments are foul and hurt. Gossip can destroy. Tearing someone down to build yourself up uses dirty language that contaminates everyone involved. Making comments with the intent to cause hurt is murderous. Sometimes its not the words themselves that cause the brokenness but the tone that breaks the heart. Sometimes having someone stand silently while foul comments are being made is what crushes the soul. I have a T-shirt with the words “I’m sorry for what I said. I didn’t mean for it to be out loud.” The shirt is meant to be funny but the reality is not. Luke 6:45 tells me that when putrid, decaying, rotten thoughts are in my head, they come out of my mouth.   Lord, I want to always speak with love, to build up rather than tear down, to add support rather than crush. I want my language to be seasoned with the salt of Colossians 4:6. May my new rhyme be “sticks and stones may break my bones but they will heal and be strong. May my words always be filled with love and create a joyful song.”