More Than Words
by Janice Mills
(Luke 6:45, NKJV).
I’ve always loved words. Whether they come together in a story, form an argument, incite a movement, or are the somber last words spoken to sum up a life. Alone or together, they have the power to inspire, inform and unite. Or assault, divide, and cancel. They are how we express ourselves but are also a bridge and a refuge.
I’m looking more closely at my word choices these days. While mindful and deliberate when choosing the perfect expression in my writing, I sometimes look the other way with my speech. The disparity became real as I asked God to bless the words I was writing. Where is the discipline when my careless remarks leave a sting, a scar, or cause division? And what about those occasional mutterings under my breath when I’m annoyed.
God’s word reminds us in Luke 6:45, “for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Does my heart compartmentalize my words, imagining God has different standards for my written and spoken words? I’m not just talking about the big offenders, but what about the slights that minimize or judge another person or experience? Or the spin my voice lends to the latest tale that is circulating? And how about the idle words that fill the air with nothingness?
My heart looks acceptable on paper where I can shape and shade my writing, but it’s time to apply the same rigorous editing skills to all the words in my life, both on and off the page. With excellence as the goal, I’m challenging myself to be more aware of my words in every area. Because as a writer, I am sharing much more than my words … I am sharing my heart.
Dear Heavenly Father, help me to be a good steward of all my words, being watchful of them in every area of my life. Amen.
Jann Mills is an emerging writer who enjoys writing devotionals and short stories. She recently was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition. She has attended the Florida Christian Writers’ Conference, Word Weaver critique groups, and is a member of the National Association of Memoir Writers. Jann lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.