Words can do a lot of good and a lot of harm. That's why you have to be so careful with them. The problem is that, once you think the words, they start stomping and snorting and pushing against the starting gate, trying to get out. If they're business-meeting words or an over-the-back-fence words, they usually don't push too hard. The words that give you the most trouble are the ones you're dying to say to the folks you know best, which is just where they can do the most good and the most harm. That's why you have to be really strict with them, especially when it would be so much easier just to open the gate. 

"Because I think them." Howard Stern, when somebody asked him why he says things

"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." Prov. 35:11

bad dobby?

       Remember Dobby in the Harry Potter series? Every time he even thinks he might've done something wrong, he starts banging his head and chanting "bad Dobby" over and over again. It's endearing in an odd sort of way, maybe because it's so familiar. We all talk to ourselves all the time, and too often it's bad-Dobby talk: "Bad Dobby, you messed up again. You always do, sooner or later. You should be ashamed of yourself." Think about what you say to yourself when you fall short on your fresh starts -- when you eat the cake or yell at the kids or forget to be thankful or let that four-letter word slip out. Do you say angry, shaming bad-Dobby words, or do you say "I-love-you-anyway" words? It matters a lot. A steady diet of bad-Dobby words will poison any fresh start before it can take root. If you want your fresh starts to grow and thrive, you have to practice seeing yourself the way God sees you (with compassion and grace) and talking to yourself that way, too. After a while, the bad-Dobby words won't get any traction at all, and that's a very good thing.

"The LORD [is] compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness. . . ." Ex. 34:6.

too many words

       Some good people talk too much.  They talk about good things, but after a while that doesn't matter anymore.  When you talk too much, people can't hear you because they're feeling trapped.  They're busy trying to escape.  Either they're scrambling to come up with an excuse for leaving the room, or they've given up on that and they're planning tonight's dinner.  Either way, it's a lose-lose.  People walk away feeling lonely and isolated, and the guy who was talking has no idea that he just made their load a little bit heavier.

"Be quick to hear, slow to speak. . . ." James 1:19.



        There's a new brand sound in our neighborhood this week.  It's the sound of heavy equipment killing trees.  In three short days, they've destroyed trees that had been growing for a hundred years.  Those trees were saplings during World War I, and now, in three short days, they're gone, and we're left looking at too much sky.  It just goes to show that growing something takes a whole lot longer than tearing it down.

"With his words, the hypocrite destroys his neighbor." Proverbs 11:9