Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Proverbs 18:21 ESV
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29 ESV
In an average day an adult will have 1,270 conversations, and speak 16,000 words. Remember these are averages, and some of you will far exceed these numbers. I share these overwhelming numbers, because in scripture God speaks about the power and importance of our words, and interactions with one another. Remember in Genesis it is God’s words that spoke the world into being, and you are a creature made in His image. Your words carry a great deal of power, they create reality, they change lives, and they impact relationships. Do we use our 16,000 words a day as a tool that can build up and make an impact though?
Think about your typical interactions. How many conversations each day do you have about the weather, how busy you are, complaining about life, and your favorite sports team or TV sitcom? Let me be clear, that’s an ok thing sometimes, but if most of our conversations are “small talk,” are we missing out on the power and impact that our language can have?
What if your conversations could be life-giving, transformational, and even hopeful? Author and Pastor Jim Herrington suggests that these transforming conversations have three components: clear, authentic, and passionate. Instead of speaking in vagaries about busyness, challenges, and dreams, be crystal clear, open up your heart and let your passion come through. Speak about the ways you see God at work in your life, and the life of those around you. Speak about the challenges that you face, and how God is leading your through that. Speak about the journey of following God, and the specific ups and downs that you are facing. This is much more than a play by play of the events of our day, it gets to the next level, to the emotions, the stuff that is stirring up inside of you each day, and allows the God-given passion inside of you to overflow into your conversations. It allows you to see deeper into someone’s life more than just finding out that they are fine, or busy.
How do you want to use your 16,000 words today? What kind of conversations do you want to have 1,270 times today? You can talk weather, sports, and complain about whatever is your current frustration, or you can thoughtfully use those words to speak of God’s work in your life, and to invite others to enter into that kind of conversation. You can speak words of transformation, of hope, and of God’s work, using your words as the great gift and asset God created them to be. Who will you share a transforming conversation with today?