By Rick Hoover
Everyone who has a healthy voice box will use it during any given time to express themselves, complain, bless, curse, whisper and shout. Our vocal cords are an amazing part of our body. Some people’s voices are very unique and well known by countless others. Who can forget the voice of Darth Vader, a.k.a. James Earl Jones? Or Paul Harvey’s distinguished voice as he shared the daily news and ended with his cheerful “Good Day!”. Or Sandi Patty and Larnelle Harris when they hit those high, high notes as they sang “I’ve Just Seen Jesus”?
Each of us uses words to talk, to communicate ideas and thoughts, to explain or to defend ourselves. If you were born and raised in China, you learned to speak Chinese. If you were born and raised in France, you learned to speak French. And if you were born in Sweden but moved to the Philippines as a young child and raised there, you would able to speak Tagalog fluently. Each language has its specific sounds, accents¸ and “lingo”. However, everyone uses their vocal cords to express these words.
Many of us are familiar with the little ditty: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me”. Not! How many of us can recollect someone’s unkind and harsh words that cut us to the quick? As children, while playing with others on the playground at school, we may have been the brunt of caustic words that deeply hurt us. Words can be used as vicious weapons that cause untold sorrow and grief. We all have been the purveyors or recipients of such vocal poison tipped darts.
Words, however, can also be a blessing and a balm to others. You and I can be the messengers of good news, of kind and encouraging words, and they can be communicated in any language. Our goal, as Christ-centered individuals, ought to always be one of articulating uplifting, soothing, wholesome words. Even when the subject of our conversation revolves around a controversial or touchy issue, our speech should remain tender, pleasant, and gentle.
Scripture is our absolute and sure source of meaning and life. Jesus, the Son of God, the “Logos” made flesh, is the model we learn and are learning to fashion our lives thereafter. His words are our bread and water; they are our sustenance and health. Happy or blessed is he or she that listens eagerly and carefully to His speech and submits him or herself to His lingo. And, blessed are we that share His words with others that have not yet learned His gracious and life liberating language.
So, may the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer (Psalm 19.14 NLT). And, so comfort and encourage each other with these words (2 Thessalonians 4.18 NLT).
Finally, may we all be filled with a very precious and encouraging word and pass it on to others:
Joy is a not a toy to employ when you’re feeling blue and blah.
Joy is not a mood to elude mere sadness and sorrows.
Joy is not a change to rearrange sentiments of woe and weariness.
Joy is a fruit, a spiritual plum, that beckons you to eat and savor its nectar and flavor.
Joy is an attitude of understanding that keeps you sane in an insane world.
Joy is mantle spun from majestic melodies that shields you from ugliness and sin.
Joy is Jesus, personified in you, full of wonder, rapture and tenacious love.
Rick Hoover serves as an Assemblies of God World Missionary on assignment to Global University, and also serves as Global University’s Portuguese Language Liason. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.