I heard a song on the radio the other day. It wasn’t the first time I have ever heard it. In fact I’ve heard it many times; but this time the words resonated deeper than the surface layers. It struck a chord in my mind and my heart. That’s when exciting things start to happen—when it goes from your head to your heart. I remind myself (and my children, just ask them) of this often.

Knowledge is good, no doubt. There used to be this catchy education logo “Knowledge is Power.” I can see what they were trying to do with that BUT knowledge will never be enough if you lack the wisdom to apply it. I have known a lot of knowledgeable people, much more intelligent than myself, but they have missed the boat. They have knowledge.  They lack wisdom! Wisdom is knowledge applied. Application in real life ways. Taking what you know from your head to your heart. Naturally, what is in your head and your heart is going to find an outlet, your mouth! This brings me back to the song. You may have heard it yourselves.

Words” by Hawk Nelson

They’ve made me feel like a prisoner

They’ve made me feel set free

They’ve made me feel like a criminal

Made me feel like a king

They’ve lifted my heart

To places I’d never been

And they’ve dragged me down again

Back to where I began

Words can build you up

Words can break you down

Start a fire in your heart or

Put it out

Let my words be life

Let my words be truth

I don’t wanna say a word

Unless it points the world back to you

You can heal the heartache

Speak over the fear

God, Your voice is the only thing

We need to hear

Let the words I say

Be the sound of your grace

I don’t wanna say a word

Unless it points the world back to you

I wanna speak your love

Not just another noise

Oh, I wanna be your light

I wanna be your voice

This is beautiful in so many ways.  Most of us spend the majority of our days with other people. People we know, people we love. How do we communicate?  Words, of course. I find myself saying things like this in our home.

How we treat each other matters.” (Because it does!)

“It’s usually better to be nice than to be right.”

“Speak love.”

“Are you speaking peace?”

“Are you about to build someone up?

I’m sure you all are hearing and saying some of these same things in your homes too.

We use A LOT of words in just one day.

I was curious just how many words are coming out of MY MOUTH any given day. Google (you know Google is always right, right?) claims on average women speak 20,000 words a day (men weighed in at only 7,000 words, not shocking data;)) 20,000 words?!  In one day!! That is a whole bunch of chances to build others up or tear them down.

I want to speak His voice; not just another noise with all those words!

I know this is going to be astonishing to some of you (sarcasm), but I don’t always follow my own advice.

I want to!

I try to!

The problem is I have this nagging enemy that shadows my every move, my thoughts even. I unaffectionately call her, SELF.  UGH…. My carnal, sinful self is always right there with me. This self that longs to have control of my words and actions. Self that feels justified  when I don’t speak peace, but irritation. Disappointing Self that instead of imparting love with these many spoken words, imparts the language of annoyance and imposition.

The Apostle Paul addresses this in Romans 7:18

I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
— Romans 7:18

He continues in Romans 7:21

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.
— Romans 7:21

I feel this same war raging in me, don’t you?

I hear this woman; everyone in my house hears and sees her too. She is short, irritated, annoyed and dismayed. I despise her voice and her ways.

But there is this other lady, too. She is gentle, patient and kind. She forces herself to slow down, to look in people’s eyes when they are speaking, and to really hear what they are saying. She speaks love and peace.

Now,  I wish I could  say that she is my constant companion, but I have lived long enough in this body to know that she is not the only one there. I must be on guard, or mySELF, my petty, tired, irritated, and sometimes overwhelmed self,  will squash her gentle and quiet voice.

I know these things. I have the knowledge. The real deal is applying what I know in my mind to my words and actions. That is the wisdom I desire. That is the transformation from head to heart.

God gave us mouths to speak, and words to use.

Words are powerful, they matter

If we sincerely want to use our words to be life and truth—to heal the heartache–to speak over the fear, then we must read His words to teach us how.

These bodies and minds are amazing but they are nothing compared to the mind and ways of our God. I challenge you (and me) with these words from the book of James.

James 3:5-6

Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

But don’t despair! He goes on to offer hope, because our God is in the business of hope!

James 3:17-18

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

Lord, Let me be a woman of carefully chosen words!

Wouldn’t  our world look a lot different if we all chose our words with care?  It’s exciting to think about!

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