I once had a boss who absolutely detested emails, memos, letters – any form of communication other than the spoken word. I will forever remember him for his repeated, “If you have something to say, pick up the phone or come to my office in person”. Although this frustrated me to no end, especially when I needed his confirmation in writing, I learned something valuable.
Nothing can replace the spoken word.
The accelerated growth of the electronic era has almost eliminated the need for verbal interaction. We text. We email. We post a status update on Facebook. And we never have to say a thing.
I catch myself falling into the trap of voicelessness. I even text with my own husband and kids, which is ridiculous because we all have cell phones that rarely leave our hands. Did you know that those little devices actually have an app that can make real calls? Imagine that.
We’ve allowed this closemouthed habit – and it is a habit – to invade our spiritual lives. We have access to the Word of God on every electronic toy we own. We subscribe to the podcasts of our favorite Bible teachers and preachers so we can have sermons-on-the-go. We join online study groups and prayer chains. But when it comes to speaking the Word, praying out loud, and telling the people around us about Jesus – well – we email them the link to a really good website instead.
This is not what God intended. He made us to be talkative people. The Bible is full of examples that clearly show the results of speaking the Word, right from the Genesis to Revelation.
The words we speak create the atmosphere around us. Positive or negative.
If I am not happy with what’s happening and I feel like everything is going wrong or everyone is against me, I have to think about the way I have been speaking. I can usually see where my negative words and attitude have brought about the corresponding circumstances. On the flip side, positive words of faith, encouragement, and love result in those very same things showing up in my life.
The Bible is pretty clear when it says, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” – Proverbs 18:21 (The Message)
Jesus said in John 6:63, “The Spirit can make life. Sheer muscle and willpower don’t make anything happen. Every word I’ve spoken to you is a Spirit-word, and so it is life-making. But some of you are resisting, refusing to have any part in this.” (The Message)
The moral of the story?
1. Watch your words. Make every single one count in a positive way.
2. Put your electronics down and have a real conversation. Face to face.
3. Pray out loud. Read the Word out loud. Tell someone about Jesus. Out loud.
Gotta go. I just got a text.