Quarter of a Million

>> Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Now that I have declared I was going to post everyday in July, everything is falling apart. A writer that can't think of anything to write, well... that is just unnatural. Actually I have many things I could write but the bad thing is, someone might read it. Not good...

I just googled the question, how many words are there in the English language, and in a round-about way, it finally reported that there are approximately a quarter of a million. That's quite a few words. To think that they all come from twenty-six letters is even more amazing to me. And then, to think how words can be spoken or written -- wow! Okay, words can also be used for good: to lift someone up and to teach. They also can be used for the bad: they can rule over someone, they can tear down, they can even destroy.

James talks about words and the power that they have.

3-5"A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!

5-6It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.

7-10This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can't tame a tongue—it's never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!

10-12My friends, this can't go on. A spring doesn't gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it? Apple trees don't bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don't bear apples, do they? You're not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?" (James 3:3-12, THE MESSAGE)

I used some of those quarter of a million words today to hurt a friend. Out of twenty-six letters, I pieced together the ones that would do the most damage. Why did I do that? I'm not sure but I am so sorry that I did. Words thrown out there can't be taken back. You can't retrieve them from the mailbox after you shove it in the slot. You can't grab at misspoken words after they leave your mouth. You certainly can't erase them off of IM. Words are a blessing and they can also be a curse.

My life's attempt is to have well-placed, meaningful words scattered around me, not loosely said, misplaced words for others to trip on. That is my goal, that is my prayer.

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