The Weight of Words

Words. So innocuous but so powerful.

How often do you weigh yours?

Ministry alters the weight of them. Leadership alters the weight of them. Relationship alters the weight of them.

Words can make someone’s day, week, or life when spoken just right. But the opposite is true as well.

Let me be a little honest with you. I don’t always weigh mine. It’s something I have been actively working on lately; effectively communicating when it’s hard or when you have to say something that’s not PC. It’s a skill I wasn’t as prepared for in my current role as I thought I was. Hospital frankness and hard talks don’t always translate into ministry hard talks. And there’s something about NOT having a white jacket on that immediately makes it harder too. That little bit of cotton was remarkably good at both being a shield to the emotion and an extra boost of courage and authority.

But now the jacket is gone.

So I have my experience and my study in this field but you can’t wear that on name badge. And, let’s be even more honest, dealing with someone’s ministry difficulties is harder than saying that there’s nothing more you can do for grandma. And that I didn’t see coming. But there are other mornings when I know my words will have to be weighed…and I will be held accountable for them. But maybe that’s not the right way to say it. Everyday I know this is the case somewhere in my head and my heart but some days I’m just more aware of it.

And it’s on these days that I have one, and only one, prayer that stays on repeat. Please don’t judge me. Don’t send me to missionary jail for what I’m about to admit.

I change the words to Jesus’s prayer.

Blasphemy. Maybe. Heart check. Doing alright.

Because I often pray the “not my will but Yours” prayer. But on these days…

I pray “not my words, but Yours”. And I pray it a lot.

Maybe that should always be our prayer. It would, however, change most people’s Facebook feeds.

I hope I got it right on the days that matter.

“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear” (NASB).



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