Words Matter

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me – or so you probably heard at one time or another. But are words really not such a big deal? No, words matter, and sometimes they matter a lot.

(Graphic from thewoodbineopry.files.wordpress.com)

Let me ask you a deeper and perhaps more difficult question. Have you ever had any ideas or feelings come to mind without some word or words associated with them? A simple question, maybe, yet hard to pin down because it can be either abstract or concrete, depending on how you look at it. Anything I can think of has a word (more often, several words) associated with it. Even an unknown sense of uneasiness has two words: unknown and uneasy. It is hard to escape the essential nature of words.

As it turns out, words have power, and they are not just how we communicate. Words are how we describe beautiful sunsets, dangerous storms, daunting challenges, new ideas, profound needs, puzzling questions, or inspired answers. Whether something is imaginary or real, we use words to describe it to someone else. Even if it is a something we cannot measure, we still use words to describe it. We might say that the link between words and what we describe is so strong, so integral, that words are reality. I still wrestle with this concept; reality drives our words, and our words reflect reality. Simple, and yet profound and hard to fathom.

Some words are more powerful than others. Some matter more than others. Some are more consequential, some less so. Yet there is one Word that trumps all other words. Scripture communicates this truth: John 1:1 says, simply yet profoundly, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:14 adds, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” And John 3:16 explains, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

The Holy Spirit uses simple, common words to reveal God our Creator and Redeemer, and to teach us about His love. We celebrate the birthday of our Lord and Savior at Christmas, yet we only scratch the surface in understanding the Incarnation. The Word is reality in its fullest possible sense. What a profound event that He would come to take on flesh and dwell with men! We have trouble wrapping our minds around such a Gift, but we can still raise our voices in praise and thanksgiving. May you have a blessed, Merry Christmas, as you contemplate God’s gift of His Son!

3 thoughts on “Words Matter

  1. I just Googled how many languages on earth. Google responded with 6,500. Really emphasizes the Tower of Babble’s influence. But more importantly, we are lulled into a sense of superior knowledge if we know two or more languages. God? Well The Triune God knows every language, all 6,500 plus. The Word in English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Swahee, Mandarin, Cantosese, and so on 6,492+ times. Now, how significant is the Word in English? Come back to me when you can speak the Word in as many languages to as many people as our Triune God can. We will probably all be in His eternal kingdom by then. I wonder how many languages will be spoken in God’s eternal kingdom?

    But I digress terribly. I will raise my voice to God with every other brother and sister in remembrance and praise of His Glorious Gift this Advent/Christmas time of year.

    Thank you for the mental exercise that has forced me into deeper thought about God’s word. Have a blessed Christmas.


  2. Jesse, this is a very deep and thoughtful meditation. U am going to share this with my family as a Christmas day meditation (with your permission!)
    Merry Christmas to you!


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