Words. Words bring comfort, convey our inner thoughts, share hope, recognize achievement, encourage steadfastness, strengthen resolve. Words can also decimate and devour dreams, puncture passions, exhaust endeavors, depress desires, crush creativity, flatten and obliterate optimism.  

As I prepared to write this article today, I did a bit of research on quotes about “words.”  Here are a few I discovered.

“Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.” Unknown.

“People say a lot, so, I watch what they do.” Unknown.

“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

“Actions speak louder than words. Words cost nothing. Actions can cost everything.” Aleksandra Layland.

Truthfully, words come easier for me than following through with corresponding actions. I have good intentions, but follow through requires an investment—time, resolve, research, perseverance, endurance. An investment that may be inconvenient, or requires I cast aside some of my desires to make it happen. It costs something. 

We often carelessly use words, whether written on social media posts or spoken, that hurt or separate us from others. Probably just as injurious are when we use words to affirm or commit but follow through doesn’t happen. Our society today seems most lacking where words and actions intersect. 

Recently Evelyn has been cleaning and organizing various rooms in our house; going through memorabilia, some of which you would categorize as clutter and others priceless treasure.  One of the jewels unearthed was a cassette tape of Bethany, at 4 years old, singing songs for her grandmother’s (my mother’s) birthday. Miraculously we still had a couple of cassette players in our house and were able to play it and relive some precious memories. Songs included were of course Happy Birthday, and a collection of other preschool songs she had learned in choir. There was also a hymn she sang with assistance from Evelyn, Wonderful Words of Life

Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of life.

Let me more of their beauty see, 

Wonderful words of life.

Words of life and beauty, teach me faith and duty:

Beautiful words, wonderful words, 

Wonderful words of life;

Beautiful words, wonderful words, 

Wonderful words of life.

Reflecting on Valentines weekend upcoming and the theme of “love,” we find various ideas about how this should be celebrated. To gain the deepest understanding we should go to God’s Word for inspiration and guidance.

I John 3 is one of many Bible passages that shares what loving one another should look like. 

By this we know love, that He (Jesus) laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.  But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.  (I John 3:16-18 ESV)

When words meet actions, we find true conviction. 

May we live out these words today and love as God loves!

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