Friday, November 10, 2006

Transformation Series: Word

Words can produce so much change. Consider Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who spoke of a dream that has been changing the culture of the United States of America ever since. Consider Hitler who, through his words, convinced a nation that they were superior to the rest of the human race and left a blemish on mankind forever. With words men are inspired to give their lives in battle. With words children become the people that they believe that they can become. With words women change their names to be the same as some young man as they plan to spend their lives with.

Why is it that words can produce such change? It seems pretty random to me. Let me explain. The process of speaking goes something like this- air that is stored up in your lungs get pushed out and that air passes over muscles in your throat called vocal cords. These vocal cords tighten and loosen to create distinct sounds. We call these sounds words. Generally these sounds carry meaning. For example: Say this phrase (Make sure to run the sounds together like a sentence) 'Ay em gud lukin.' Now smile. Did you catch it? If you didn't, then read it again. What I asked you to read is not a sentence in the English language. Yet, hopefully as you sounded the phrase out it meant something to you. You should have heard yourself say, 'I am good looking' (By the way, I hope it made you smile. I am sure it is true.)

My point is this, what you heard/said meant something to you. Whether you believe the phrase you spoke or not, it meant something. It affected your thinking even if it were on only for a moment. It changed your thinking from whatever you were thinking about to whatever you thought about the phrase. How do words do that? Why do the words 'I love you' cause my daughter to light up everytime she hears them? Why is it that while I was in school, when students said my nose was too big, I would look in the mirror and think I am ugly because I have a big nose?Here is the reason - It is because words carry meaning and things that have meaning infiltrate our hearts and minds and things that infiltrate our hearts and minds shape our belief and then once we believe something, then we do as we believe. (Side note: We don't always do what we claim to believe but we always act is agreement with what we believe.)

It is likely that you hear thousands of words a day. Some things you hear are true, some are false. Some things you hear encourage, some things discourage. My daughter believes she is a princess, because I tell her she is (and so does Disney by the way). Those words affect how she carries herself. Now imagine if we always spoke words of love, truth, encouragement and hope. What do you think that would do to the people around us? I think it would help them become more of who they were created to be. Will you tap on someone’s heart and mind with words of love, encouragement and truth?

To those of you who care to join this movement of transformation, I ask you to speak words of life to people. Jesus was said to have had the words of life. Speak words that refresh and build up. Do not speak words of death. Do not speak words that make people weary and tear them down. Your words will help produce the transformation in people that they long for. Will your words help them be the people they were meant to be or will it destroy even the very hope of becoming who they were meant to be? You decide every time you open your mouth. Transformation is on the tip of your tongue.

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