Sometimes I talk too much; I say the wrong thing, speak inconsiderately, or ignorantly. Sometimes, it would simply be better to say nothing at all. I have been considering my words a lot lately, and the other day, my coworker put it in a new perspective for me. Over the weekend she went and saw a movie called A Thousand Words at the $1.50 theater in Dallas. Side note: I did not know Dallas had a $1.50 theater–woohoo!
Anyway, the premise of the movie is a man learning the significance of each word he speaks as he only has a certain number (one thousand) to spend before he dies. This got me thinking. How carefully would I choose my words if they were numbered? How many things would I let go unsaid that are superfluous and frivolous (at best) and hurtful (at worst)? There are many times I speak without thinking and instantly regret the words that I have just vocalized. How hurtful and unkind these words can be! How silly and thoughtless statements may seem when I play them back in my mind. I am learning–in a very slow fashion–that though people tell you “Actions speak louder than words”, words, too, have a lasting effect. Once spoken, they are suspended in the room waiting to be accepted, rejected, understood or misinterpreted. Many times, it is not worth the risk to say something that may be taken the wrong way.
A couple of weeks ago, when my brother Dan was in town, he prayed before our dinner. And one of the things he prayed about was that our words would be glorifying to God. Ummmm, that was convicting! How many times EACH DAY do I say something that is totally in opposition to what I know to be honoring to God? Probably more than I am willing to admit. But that prayer was a reminder…my words have consequences. And I need to not only be cognizant of what I am saying, but I need to be careful before I say it at all.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires”
So though, realistically, I cannot limit myself to one thousand words for the remainder of my life, I am challenging myself to be aware of my words. Not after I say them and they are hanging in the room, but before they are uttered to begin with. And, then, maybe my one thousand (plus) words would draw less attention to myself and more responsiveness to honoring God.