Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Daddy, May I Have Another Corn on the Log?" and other thoughts about Words

Dinner time is a blast in a family of five with three kids 6 and under!

I wouldn't trade it for anything because it's the only time during the day that we are all captivated with one another. Any other time one kid would be here, the other there. The baby may be playing in the toilet, while our oldest reading a book. But at dinner time there is none of that. We are just sitting around a rectangular table looking at one another with no other option than to interact.

And on this particular evening, Grace wanted another "corn on the log."

I know what you are thinking... and yes... she did mean corn on the cob. And yes, we did laugh out loud for quite some time.

How many times has it happened to you. You knew what you wanted to say, but it just came out wrong. How many tears has your wife, or mother, or significant other shed because you said something stupid? Or worse yet, how many times have you said something you really meant, but in your right mind and apart from anger wouldn't have said it to save your life if you knew how bad it would hurt.

Words are some of the most powerful tools in our tool belt to either wound or heal. Yeah, I've heard that about a thousand times too, but how much does it really penetrate our hearts? Have you crossed the divide of refusing to use words that hurt or manipulate and choosing to be a verbal healer? I'm not sure if I have. But, this is what I think may be true: if our hearts were pure and our attitudes were healed, we would not have to cross any divide. We could say exactly what was in our heart and words of healing would come pouring out like the blood and water that flowed from the side of Jesus as he died for us. Just prior to this, some of his last words were "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" is the most popular play in the defensive play book of the most wounded and hard-hearted people. Words are meant to heal or hurt. They were uniquely designed by God to transfer what is happening in our hearts and minds to the outside world. It's the only way that the secret place of my inner person can break free into the public place of the outside world.

How closely do your outer words reflect the thoughts and attitudes of your heart? Would you be ashamed to actually speak what you feel? It's an issue of integrity... one of purity. Our words expose us and exposure leads to transformation. A hidden sin has no motivation to become virtue unless it is exposed.

So, I urge you to say what you mean. BUT before you do, to live with a pure heart! Imagine the lack of tension in our relationships if we could actually expose all our attitudes and thoughts simply because we weren't ashamed of them. What if our hearts were healed and our love for people so pure that we didn't have to worry about filtering our words! What freedom! What abundance of life!

Now, go eat a corn on the log and take time to reflect on the thoughts and attitudes of your heart. Then go tell someone how you feel.

I might have to eat two.

Proverbs 28:18: Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

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