Have you listened to the song “Words” by Hawk Nelson? Not just heard the song, but really listened to the lyrics? The other day this song was on the radio in our vehicle and The Oldest asked me, “is he singing about talking about Jesus?” I replied, “Yes, but in general about using words that glorify God, point others toward Jesus, and build others up.”
The Oldest pondered this for a short time and said, “So, like, in art class I should say, ‘my project looks terrible’ because then my friends would feel better about their projects?'”
“No, sweetheart, you never need to speak poorly of your work to build others up, you simply need to encourage others while focusing on doing the best work that you can do. You need to use kind words about your own work, and your classmates.”
The conversation continued for a few moments more, and I was encouraged at how deeply The Oldest seemed to allow the lyrics of this song to resonate and touch his heart. This prompted me to spend more time truly listening to these lyrics and realizing that I, too, need to be so often reminded to use words to point my children, and others, to the cross of Jesus. If I truly lived by the lyric “I don’t want to say a word unless it points the world back to [Jesus]”, I’m sure I would be much quieter during my day, and much more peaceful. In fact, the scriptures guide us in that direction:
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 the notes “good for building up” is defined as: a Christian’s speech should be instructive, encouraging ,uplifting (even when it must be corrective), and suited for the moment [The MacArthur Study Bible, p. 1764]
It is important to speak truth in to other’s lives, “that it may give grace to those who hear” is defined as: “because believers have been saved by grace, they should live and speak with grace.” [p. 1764]
I am convicted to be more intentional not only with my boys and with friends and family, and people in general, but also with myself. The lyrics “[words can] start a fire in our hearts or put it out” are very striking to me. I tend to become very excited and passionate about an idea and quickly talk myself out of it, that someone else is better or that the idea has already been done. I intend to start focusing on using words that speak truth with grace. To myself. To my boys. To my family. To my friends. And to each person that is put in my path each day.
Take a few quiet moments and listen to this song. It’s worth it. Thank you, to my six-year-old, for causing me to pause in the chaos and cause this song to turn into a prayer.