The word is always a word for others. Words need to be heard. When we give words to what we are living, these words need to be received and responded to. A speaker needs a listener. A writer needs a reader.
When the flesh - the lived human experience - becomes word, community can develop. When we say, "Let me tell you what we saw. Come and listen to what we did. Sit down and let me explain to you what happened to us. Wait until you hear whom we met," we call people together and make our lives into lives for others. The word brings us together and calls us into community. When the flesh becomes word, our bodies become part of a body of people.
Those words were penned by one of my favorite authors, Henri Nouwen. He spoke of something next to my heart and comes up often when we plan outreach, when we look at the needs of our community and so much more.
Our words must create community. Sometimes our words create division. They separate or cause deep pain that is remembered for a very long time. At other times words bring healing and strength to the hearer, maybe even to the speaker too.
The lips of the godly speak helpful words, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words.
Choose your words wisely. I have the responsibility and honor to preaching. I enjoy it and even love it. But I come to the place where I realize the gravity of my words. They have the power to send people in various directions. Words build up. Words can tear down. The speaker has the most power.
Don’t misuse that power. Whether you are a preacher, a teacher, a parent, a storeowner, a construction worker or have some other occupation, each day you have words to share with others.
Make sure your words make a difference. Speak less. Be more calculated than ever before. Like the verse above be godly and wise with helpful words. Like the verse below let God speak through you. Our words can build community and make us all better!
For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit.