As a teacher I like to analyze words and sentences and get to the deeper meaning of what an author or a speaker is saying. I strive to get my students to look for hidden meanings and develop some critical thinking. I also want them to express themselves with a variety of expressions so they can in turn write on a deeper level. My advice to them is to broaden their vocabulary and also look for synonyms and antonyms. Knowing a great number of words will make their reading, writing and speaking experience much richer. I use the same approach for myself when reading the Bible. I study the Word and try to understand some of the most complex messages and I try to develop my vocabulary so I can express myself in a variety of ways and reach a bigger audience. Words are extremely important to me and I get why the Word encourages us to use our words wisely. With our words we can edify people or bring them down. We can create a positive atmosphere or a toxic situation. We choose our words based on what we know and based on our environment as well. There is often a source of influence in our lives that affect the way we talk and the words that come out of our mouth. I recently met a lot of the parents of the kids that I teach and I found some similarities between the way the parents spoke and how their kids express themselves. Parents are a great influence and so are teachers and mentors. What is your biggest source of influence? Who or what influences your words? You might not be a parent or an educator but your words are reaching people on a daily basis. You are blessing people every day through your words if you choose to speak in agreement with the Lord. Someone might be depending on you to hear words of encouragement. Someone might be looking up to you for some positivity. The key here is to have the Lord as our source of influence all the time. Let’s make sure we choose the Holy Spirit as our source. Let’s use the rich vocabulary of the Holy Spirit. His words express love, peace, joy, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control as presented in Galatians 5:22. These words are pleasing to God. Psalm 19:14 says “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Look no further. The influence of the Holy Spirit should permeate our words because you and I are influences for others. You just never know who is paying close attention to your words. You have probably heard before that we could be the only Bible that some people will ever read. They will read our words the way we read chapters of the Word. We are preaching every day through our actions and through our words. If you find that your words in the workplace, with your friends or in the grocery store are not in tune with the Word of God, know that the Spirit can help. In Psalm 141:3, the psalmist prays “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” This could be a daily prayer for us. The Holy Spirit is the best source of influence ever. Let Him affect your thoughts when you read the Word daily and you pray regularly. Your thoughts will then contaminate your words with love, encouragement and positivity.
Suggested reading: Proverbs 18:21; Matthew 12:36; Colossians 3:8