Posted by: R M White | 07/06/2008

When You Just Don’t Know What to Say –

There have been several occasions recently in my life when these exact words or sentiments similar were said to me. One occasion was the severe, sudden illness of a good friend; another time was when there was a unexpected break-up in a relationship; then again there was a time involving the death of someone dear; and still one more time was when the individual was suffering from being let down in an incredible way and was consequently dealing with extreme disappointment in the human race.

Sometimes situations are such that words are not adequate. There are times when no words come that are appropriate — you know you should say something but everything you’re thinking seems too little or just wrong. You feel awkward and don’t want to mess things up any worse. Sometimes our minds are just blank – withdrawing from the time, place – into another far away zone. Once in a while silence reigns but there are million things waiting to be said and the mind and heart can’t seem to synchronize with the spoken/written word to get them out. Sometimes the air is too heavy and nothing can cut into it. There are times when you don’t want to dignify a state of affairs with words – what you’re thinking wouldn’t be taken into any account anyway so you clam up. Sometimes there’s a moment so poignant that words would just get in the way of the sadness or beauty or awesomeness that you’re experiencing.

On the other hand, there are those times when words are very necessary and we may be the exact tool that God is using to express his love, his encouragement, or admonishment to a fellow traveler on life’s pathway. Too many times we shun our responsibility whether out of not wanting to get involved, or apathy, maybe fear even. But we need to know and accept the fact that if we are to be used as God’s instrument in this unfolding story of life then we sometimes just need to speak up! God’s Word to us who will open it and learn from it is amazing. It especially can help us to understand the beauty of spoken language and the duty we have to use our words appropriately. With our words we have the power to lift up or to knock down, to heal or harm, give life to dreams or destroy them by criticism. We sometimes may supply the necessary guidance to someone who is wondering what to do next and waiting for a sign – a word. Oh my! what if someone just needs a word of kindness that would expel the darkness surrounding them at that given time?

I pray I use my words suitably – to teach and edify, to enlighten and encourage, to brighten and delight. I pray I can keep my mouth shut when I need to but I am convinced that the refusal to uphold and share God’s teachings is the predominant state of mind with most of us – including myself.

A few scriptures I cherish that express some of these thoughts are the following:


Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

Zechariah 8:16 These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts.

Ephesians 4:25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Job 16:5 But my mouth would encourage you;
comfort from my lips would bring you relief.

Psalm 15 1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?

2 He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart

3 and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman.

Philemon 1:7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.

Acts 20:2 He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people

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