Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Word Series

Words – Part Four
Welcome to part four of our series on words. We’ve already examined the meaning of words, original and ripples and today we’re looking at dynamite.


Words are Extremely Powerful
I think we all know that. We are affected by words that are spoken to us, or about us, and they can cause us to make life-altering decisions. Written words are just as powerful. Think of a book that caused a shift in your thinking, or a nasty note from someone who held a grudge against you. Those words had an effect on your mind and emotions.

Words can Build up and Break down
Words are like sticks of dynamite. They have the power to start wars, destroy self esteem, blow apart friendships and destroy families. On a positive note, they can also heal hurts, educate, bring truth, affirm, validate and protect. If you take a stick of dynamite and throw it into a busy street, the results will be devastating. A controlled blast is the correct way to use an explosive and we see this with words. Just as toppling old structures can make way for progress, carefully targeted writing can bring about positive change and growth.

Where can we use powerful Words
As writers, we can use our words to take a stand against immorality and ungodly behavior in our society. Write letters to businesses that use offensive advertising and encourage friends to do the same. A billboard appeared in our city last year, featuring a prostitute with a piece of material as a skirt. When the wind blew, the material lifted, showing her skimpy underwear. I wrote to the local authorities, the newspaper and the New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority, as did a number of other people. We lost our appeal ... but the billboard was removed within a week. Our words did not fall on deaf ears.

Knowing when to use Strong Words
The right words at the wrong time can be just as devastating as the wrong words at the right time. Consider the situation and timing carefully and let love be your motivation. I have found this passage from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV) to be helpful:

1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

My prayer is that God will show me the right time to use strong words; that I will write them when He wants me to. We can make a difference and as more and more people stand up for righteousness, our words will become more and more effective. My final thought for this week is a quote from Edmund Burke: “The only thing needed for evil to prosper, is for good men to do nothing.”

Come back next Wednesday to find out what the S stands for – the last letter in our WORDS series.

Debbie Roome works as a freelance writer from her home in New Zealand. Read some of her work at Suite 101 , Take Root and Write and Faithwriters.

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Jay Ehret said...

Thanks, Debbie for your reminder on the power of words. Christians should always be mindful of their words, especially in written form. It seems words are more often misunderstood when they are written rather than spoken.

Yvonne said...

Yes, thank you for this.

"Let the words of my heart (and pen) be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."