Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Making Every Word Count

My husband is one of the regular contributors to the faith column in our local newspaper. Every time it is his turn to write his article he finds that his biggest challenge is in keeping within the total allowable word count of 400 words. Four hundred words may seem like a huge amount of words but when you start to write you find that it really isn't after all. My husband understands that those four hundred words may be his only chance to reach someone for the Lord. They have to count. So he chooses his words wisely and prays before he submits the article that it will touch someone. 

What if you were only given four hundred words to use every day? Just four hundred. What if after you had used them all up, your voice refused to work? The volume was turned off? If that were the case, I know we would all be very careful with our words. We would make every one count. We wouldn't waste our words on gossip or ridicule. We would want to use them for instruction and telling our family how much we love them. Wouldn't we?  

What if you only had one chance to build someone up, to encourage them or to instruct them and your daily allotment of words was all used up? Just imagine how you would feel. You'd probably feel like you had missed an opportunity. And in fact you would have. Although we all have an unending supply of words every day, sometimes we aren't very wise in our use of them. A recent study found that women speak approximately 20,000 words per day, on average, while men only speak 7000 on average. No matter how you look at it, that is a lot of words!

The Bible tells us not to be 'quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in Heaven and you are on Earth, so let your words be few'. Ecclesiastes 5:2 In other words: make your words count. Psalm 141:3 says 'set a guard over my mouth O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips' and Proverbs 13:3 tells us that 'he who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.' There are many other verses in the Bible which instruct us on making every word count but you get the idea. 

I honestly don't know if I speak 20,000 words a day or more, but I do know that I speak a lot of unnecessary words and sometimes even words that I find myself repenting of. This is a reminder to me, too, to watch my words and make sure that every one counts as being fit for the King's ears. 

"But I say to you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account of on the day of judgement." Matthew 12:36

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