Have you ever thought about how much power is packed into the words we choose from day to day? One of the greatest lessons I have learned and continue to learn in life is the importance of our words. Words can unite or divide. Words can comfort or condemn. Words can empower or destroy. Words can bring joy or sorrow. Words can build up or tear down. Words can bring peace or bring war. Words can break or bring healing. One of the greatest temptations I know I have struggled with personally and I am quite sure I am not alone in this is to gossip or complain. It is so easy to jump in on talk of others or people groups. When complaints are made how easy it is to agree with what is being said instead of standing up for the positives. Oh the discipline it takes to say nothing at all when it’s best to be silent. Think of the meaning of the words “always” and “never”. To use these words we better have solid evidence or extremely strong will power to back them up. One of the rules of a true/false test is that if one of these words is included in the question most likely the answer is false. How often is it false when we use them in our own language? A parent telling a child “you always get that wrong” or “you never do things right” will leave their esteem and self -worth destroyed. To say “I always get the job done” will reveal our human weakness as we most definitely will fail or forget at some point in time. To say “I will never do” sure takes an abundance of will power as temptations arise. The more I fill my life with the Word of God, positive people, music, positive books, and positive shows the greater my choice of words. So often the words seem to be to say nothing at this time. Our words can add kindling to a fire. Without fuel the fire will eventually burn out or we can add to it and cause tremendous damage. Proverbs 21:23 “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.” Proverbs 12:18 “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 26:20 “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.” James chapter three gives a very thorough description of how powerful our words can be. These thoughts were triggered by one of those talk shows with everyone fighting and yelling. It was so disturbing to me I quickly changed the channel. I have literally left a job that was such a negative environment filled with harsh words everyday as protection for the person God created me to be and for my family. Once I had a co-worker that spoke so terrible about everyone that was not around or within hearing range. Finally I asked another co-worker what was said about me when I was not around out of pure curiosity. This person had built such a reputation and bad impression in my dealings with them that I figured that the nastiness was directed toward me as well. The co-worker told me the complaint about me was that I laugh too much. Guess what, that made me laugh. She had no clue that to me that was a huge compliment. It actually could be the heading for my tombstone “She laughed too much!” Who we truly are, our character, our reputation, and our trustworthiness hinges on the words we use from day to day. We should all think before we speak and write.