Have you ever been told something that deeply hurt you? If you have you probably expressed your feelings using words like "cut","wounded", "broken" all of which are used to express physically tangible elements. So why do we use them to express emotions? Well, because words are extremely powerful, but we often use them with such carelessness, I being the most culpable of all. This carelessness creates all kinds of wounds.
Some wounds are that of the heart, where someone says something that breaks out hearts. Other wounds are wounds of the thoughts where someone says something and their words alter the way we think about others. This is true of when we do it to others as well. Sometimes we do it subconsciously, for example, a person once told me something about another person that stayed with me for a very long time. Did the person talking to me mean to do that? Did I mean to have these reoccurring thoughts every time I saw the other person? No, but words have a strong influence on us. I am sure I have done this to others as well plenty of times. So we must be aware of what we say.
The Bible tells us in James 3:10 "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be." The importance of our speech is made clear in this verse. Our Good Lord also makes a reference to speech saying: "What goes into someone's mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them." Matthew 15:11
For years the Jew were worried about what went into their bodies so that they may not be defiled, but Jesus explains to us that it is what comes out of our mouths that could be defiling. When my words hurt my bothers and sisters then they have not served a good purpose.
Matthew 15:19 "For out of the heart come evil thoughts--murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander."
If we were to argue that our words are a reflection of our thoughts, then we could can detect the evil laying beneath our speeches. Yet again, speech can not only be a poison, but a medicine when used correctly. Words can heal, and comfort those in need, words can make a gloomy soul laugh hysterically. Words can make a lonely person feel loved. Often times, these words are as simple as a sincere "how are you?" an attentive ear and a smile.
Does that mean we can't joke around? No, not at all, in fact Jesus wants to see us happy, He wants to see us have fun. If that wasn't the case He wouldn't have turned water into wine. I am sure He smiled and laughed before, but He did so with peace in His heart.
We can and should do all the things that our humanity calls us to do, yet not with evil thoughts in our hearts, but rather love. When love is placed at the center, when mean words are replaced, our lives will be filled with peace.
I don't stop being me, I don't stop loving the things that I have always loved. All my life I have loved dancing, having Jesus in my life, never stopped me from wanting to dance. Certain aspects of us don't chance, what does change is our thoughts and therefore, our words. The evil that came out of our hearts before dwindles down and is replaced with peace and reflected through our word choices.
Vice versa as well, if we want to eliminate the evil thoughts in our hearts, if that is something we struggle with, then we must begin by changing our vernacular. Changing the direction the mirror is facing will change the image that the mirror is reflecting. So step one begin with word and let them change the thoughts. Or begin with the thoughts and let them change the words. Both are done through prayers. For the first if I may humbly suggest, every time I encounter a bad situation I can actively replace my language so that they do not reflect bad thoughts. For the second, every time I catch myself thinking bad thoughts about a person or a situation, I may pray a "Hail Mary" or an "Our Father" for that person or that thing.
Changing words can change the world!