Measure Your Words

images“Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few,” Ecclesiastes 5:2.

This is a tough one, eh? How can we “let our words be few” in a world of blogs and Facebook posts and 24/7 social, visual, audio, and mass media? Are you kidding?

When novels are expected to be 100,000 words long, and you’re expected to have a sequel written instantly? Sounds impossible even as I sit here trying to write this blog and then revise my novel that needs another 30,000 words. How do I make those words matter in light of eternity and in the hearts and minds of those who will read them?

I think this scripture is talking about being hasty to utter (or write) things that God would not want to hear or read, about considering what we say or write and their implications on a deeper, more eternal level. If you gave God your blog or your book, or He sat in on your lunch conversation with your best friend, what would He think about the words that come out of your mouth or your fingers? Would He be blessed by your work or saddened at them? Scary thought, huh?

Would your suspense novel about the murder of a congressman and the revenge of her death promote life and truth or would it be something that takes away from it? If redemption is the main point, maybe. But if it’s just a fun, compelling read that’ll sell well, would it be something God would enjoy reading?

The truth is, God really does hear every word we speak or write. He knows what we say and read. He is the ultimate audience, judge, and jury, and He is merciful and kind. Yet the breadth and height and depth of the words we speak and write really do matter.

If we think of our speaking and writing that way, then we’ll measure our words more carefully, whether spoken or written, with the same measurement God does. Are they words you’d want God himself to hear or read?

Wow! That’s a tall order, and how do we get there? Philippians 4:8 gives us some good guidelines: whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think (and then speak or write) about such things. Good advice, especially for today’s word-filled world.

How do you measure your words? I’d love to know!



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