Living Logos

Occasionally words will dart through my brain and I may not necessarily know the definition but it may seem to fit the occasion. This happens frequently and on one occasion I distinctly remember getting it wrong. The word was lucid. By definition I thought the word lucid meant unclear, confused, not quite coherent. By definition that is the precise antithesis (or opposite) of lucid.

alphabet-close-up-game-695571I have long had a love of words. Written ones, spoken ones, even my thoughts and imaginations are verbose. For most of my life words have meant something to me. I can distinctly remember being no more than 4 or 5 years old, sitting on the floor of the public library; I sat with my legs folded and a book larger than my lap opened in front of me. I sounded out words and read that book all by myself, cover to faded cover. I will never forget the feeling of accomplishment and the new world that opened before my very eyes. In those moments I had been transported to Paris, France, and the adventures of a tiny little girl. Those words had come alive and transported me to a different place.

When I was in the 4th grade I remember teacher would read aloud to us everyday after lunch. I loved those times everyday, I can still picture her seated in front of the chalkboard, her perfectly scripted cursive writing as her backdrop, chapter book in hand, and her soothing voice like a Mother’s lullaby singing over a newborn would read tales of adventure and fourth grade fun.

Words, they mean much to me and have served as a medium in which to express myself on the regular. Recently I encountered several words I had questions about that caused me to give pause, write them down, find their origins, and define them.

Words like accoutrements, antiquated, assiduously, bedlam, bon vivant, catchword, ruminate, and serendipitous.

The Greek word for “word” is Logos.

John 1 (ESV) says,

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

And then verse 14…

“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 the Logos, the Word was made flesh. Talk about words coming alive. The very same Word, or Logos that became flesh is the very same Word that is alive today. That very same Word possesses a greater power and is not just a dead text on a page. He is alive and active and He loves you and me without limits and deliberately.

The book of John begins with the Word and ends with word. The last Chapter of John is 21 and these verses speak volumes (pun completely intended.)

“This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true. Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” (John 21:24-25)

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The Power of Words

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

How are your words lately?

Kind, loving, true, hopeful, healing, affirming? Intentional, inspiring, uplifting?

Hateful, hurtful, spiteful, careless, mean? Stinging, abusive, discouraging, destroying, judgemental?

close-up-colors-face-925350.jpgWords are so important. There are gentle and encouraging words. Life-giving words. And there are crushing and unpleasant words that tear down and even alter the course of a person’s life. Proverbs 18:21 says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. Another verse in Proverbs says that a soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. Wow! What power there is in the words that we speak to others.

  • Words impact our children

I read once that if you tell a child they are mean or rebellious, they will set out to prove it is true. Make sure that you are speaking words of truth and life into them so that they will want to prove the positive rather than the negative. I used to tell my kids that they were driving me crazy. That phrase was mostly said in jest, but one particularly rough day, my little girl apologized for driving me crazy when I didn’t even say it.  I didn’t want my kids to believe those words, just to stop whatever it was they were doing. Words of correction and direction need to be loving no matter what the situation.

  • Words impact our spouses

model-2748342_1280Oh, how our husbands need our affirmation and encouragement. Even if they aren’t the best at something, or if they may not be what you thought they were when you married them, don’t let them hear you tear them down or compare them to others. Maybe the kind and affirming word you speak to them will dispel the negative things they have believed about themselves from someone else’s ugly words. Marriages are torn apart by careless words. Good marriages are strengthened by words of respect and love and forgiveness.

  • Words impact everyone around us

There are people all around us, every single day, who never get a word of affirmation or love or affection. They never hear that they are cared for or loved or that they are important. Or that they are beautiful and that they matter. Be intentional in what you say to people you encounter as you move about your daily life.  It only takes a few seconds to smile and speak to someone. Don’t you just feel so good when someone else just smiles at you and tells you to have a blessed day?

We should be careful with our words because Jesus takes our words very seriously. In Matthew 12:36, he said that on the day of judgement, we will give an account of every careless word. That tells us that we need to pay attention to every word. Speak words of truth to people from God’s word. What better words are there than the kind and loving words that our gentle Savior speaks to us through HIS WORD? Even when we disagree with someone, our words need not be harsh and hateful. I’m so thankful for our sweet Savior’s love and mercy and forgiveness when I think about the times my words have wounded another.

bow-box-candles-238467.jpgMany years ago I heard Florence Littauer share about the impact of the words that we speak. She said that our words should be “like a little silver box with a bow on top”. That’s how I want my words to be. Encouraging and true. A gift.  I don’t want my words to cause pain for others. Once the words are spoken, they can’t be taken back.  Florence’s words had an impact on me all those years ago and I still tear up to this day when I hear her message. You can hear her powerful “Silver Box” message here.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29