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Choose Your Words Carefully

Dr. Arthur Burns once said, “Tis better to keep quiet and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” Did you know that is Biblical? I was surprised too.


“Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” Proverbs 17:28


My earliest memories are looking at the sky at night or in the morning and saying, “Pink at night sailor's delight. Pink in the morning sailors take warning.”


That is in the Bible too!


“…When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening…you know how to discern the face of the sky…” Matthew 16:2-3 NKJV


My mom went back to college after my dad was killed. This was the early 1970’s and she took some secretarial courses including shorthand. Shorthand always amazed me. Back in the day, it was pretty much a required, or at least essential, part of secretarial training. It basically allowed you to write and take notes at the same speed at which the person was speaking but, with a series of swoops, loops, and marks on paper that no one understood, except those who knew shorthand. It was a like a secret code.


And what about acronyms?

An acronym is an abbreviation formed from the first initial of other words and pronounced as a word. Take NASA for example. It stands for National Aeronautical and Space Administration.


Did you know Geico is an acronym? It stands for Government Employees Insurance Co.


Have you ever used Pam cooking spray? It stands for Product of Arthur Meyerhoff.


Several years ago, I interviewed a man on the radio. He was a newer business owner and ran JC’s Taxi.


We were almost finished when he asked, “Would you like to know what JC stands for?”


Well of course I did!


It was such a simple question and yet it had escaped me. Yes, we should know what JC stands for! (After all, the gentleman I was interviewing did not share either initial.)


He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Jesus Christ”.


I don’t remember exactly what he said after that, but I remember the light in his eyes as he talked about what Jesus had done for him.


Wow! What a testimony; and he gets to tell that story over and over and over.


Your words can be life-giving water to someone who is dying of thirst.


Proverbs 18:4 tells us that many words rush along like rivers in flood, but deep wisdom flows up from artesian springs. – The Message Bible


Talk about your Jesus. Share with others what He has done in and with your life. He is worthy of our praise. He is worthy of adoration. He is worthy of our worship.


I remember hearing a friend joke once that the word Bible was an acronym:


“Best Instructions Before Leaving Earth”


There are many good verses in the Bible regarding the power of words.


“With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor, but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.” Proverbs 11:9 ESV


“Once upon a time, an old man spread rumors that his neighbor was a thief. As a result, the young man was arrested. Days later the young man was proven innocent. After being released, the man felt humiliated as he walked to his home, and he sued the old man for wrongly accusing him.


“In court, the old man told the Judge, “They were just comments, they didn’t harm anyone.”


The judge, before passing sentence on the case, told the old man, “Write all the things you said about him on a piece of paper. Cut them up and on the way home, throw the pieces of paper out. Tomorrow, come back to hear the sentence.”


“The next day, the judge told the old man, “Before receiving the sentence, you will have to go out and gather all the pieces of paper that you threw out yesterday”. The old man said, “I can’t do that! The wind must have spread them, and I won’t know where to find them.”


“The judge then replied, “In the same way, simple comments may destroy the honor of a man to such an extent that one is not able to fix it…” (source: moralstories.org)


We can use our words to build up or tear down. Choose your words wisely.


P.S. Bible comes from the Latin work ‘biblia’ which means “book”.


by Jeanette Stark – Tuesday, September 13, 2022

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