Did you know the average person speaks somewhere between 125 and 150 words per minute? That’s a lot of words, and too many of them are often said recklessly and thoughtlessly.
Words can be the reason we get in trouble and words can be the reason we get out of trouble. I have to confess, most times I speak as I’m thinking, even though I want to think before I speak. (A good rule to live by.)
John Roper says, “To say the right thing at the right time…Keep still most of the time”.
That’s a real challenge for me! Not many of us understand that “no words” may be our best option at times.
I’ve lived with a quiet man who thinks a very long time before he speaks. At times when I ask him a question, it takes him so long to answer that I ask if he heard me. His reply is always, “Yes, I heard you. I’m thinking about how to answer your question.” I admit after 50 years of being married to him I still don’t understand why it takes so long to answer a question but limiting our words when we speak may carry a more significant message.
By our words we are judged and
By our words, we are justified.
The Easter season makes me think of my greatest example when it comes to the power of words – Jesus. He said the right things at the right times.
The greatest words ever spoken in history are the words He spoke from the cross. These words are spoken at a time when He was in great agony and ridiculed for being a good man and claiming to be the Son of God. He was silent as they ridiculed Him, spit on Him, and whipped Him 39 times with a razor sharp whip. He carried the cross from the place where He was sentenced to the place of the skull where He was then nailed to the cross.
At the moment He was stripped of His dignity and being mocked by those passing by the cross, He cried out in agony, “My God, why have you forsaken me?”
He continued, “Father forgive them because they don’t know what they’re doing.”
A total of ten words are spoken. Ten words that changed the history of every man, woman, boy, and girl ever born. There was something very different about this so-called criminal that was hung in between two common thieves. Indeed He is the Son of God, was the response from those who crucified Him.
As we encounter pain in our lives and experience the harshness of life, we can learn the power that comes from a few words.
When we want to lash out in anger or have more questions than we have answers during our own “darkness of the soul,” remember only a few words are needed.
Our struggle will always require forgiveness. Our struggles are of our making, or someone has hurt us deeply. Either way, it involves forgiveness. We have to forgive those who hurt us or forgive ourselves for our wrong choices and bad behaviors.
The words “I forgive you” may be the most meaningful words from anyone whom you have hurt. These were the most powerful and life-giving words from my husband and daughters that I have ever received.
Having failed miserably I didn’t deserve to hear the words, “I forgive you,” yet, they were spoken to me. What a relief! Only a few words but it gave me hope and changed my outlook on life as I began the journey of freedom.
It’s true…fewer words are better. A few words of truth can be the difference between life and death.
Since I’ve experienced forgiveness with only three simple, powerful words, I understand how important a few words can be.