I am thinking today about words.

Words that I speak, hear, collect, and crave. Words that I spill forth unguarded, only to wish for the ability to snatch them back into my mouth as the last syllable leaves my tongue. Words I measure and pray over and release with the hope they are a healing balm to soul and spirit. Words that are too often my own, and less often the pure, purposed words of The Word.

I am a reader, a listener, a teacher, a writer and a speaker of words. I walk in a cloak of words. As with anything that is a great part of my life, I can become casual and inattentive with words, but I am also acutely aware of their power over me.

I need to tell you about your words. And their power.

Your words are important to me. They lift me up. The over-coffee, leaning-on-the- kitchen counter words that you speak are the tools that He uses to complete His work in me.

When you tell me how accepting you are of your sons and daughters and how you pray for their hearts amid the life situations you would not choose, my heart hears you, and I am encouraged to replace the hand-wringing with prayer.

When you smile and your eyes crinkle up and you tell me what’s good and right and that “he’s a ‘keeper’”, I remember to speak highly of my life partner in front of others, and to look for the goodness, past the human flaws.

When, instead of tearing down the character of another, you look for ways to understand and find a common ground, I learn to whisper a prayer to change my own heart.

When you quietly ask me to join you in a good work of service: to cook, or rake, or provide a bed, or transport, or send a card, or include, I remember that He served without fanfare or announcement, and that our humble, behind-the-scenes service is how we live the only sacrifice we can offer.

When you listen and hear my words and tell me you still love me and that you struggle, too, I listen to the words of grace and can move forward, closer to His likeness.

When my careless words have discouraged, or trodden underfoot, or neglected, and you do not withhold your words or love from me, I taste the forgiveness again of our Father, and bow in gratitude for His living reminder.

When your gentle words of gratitude and hope are laid beside mine of complaint and despair, I become stronger and wiser, enough to correct mine, and take a step forward instead of back.

When your words demonstrate  thoughtful study and deep drinking at the well of Life, then what is shared becomes not your words alone, but His working through yours, and I can trust them.

When your words are never “Why me?”, but instead, “Why not me?”, I remember to put on my armor and keep putting one foot in front of the other, assured of the Leader’s guidance.

When you dare to reflect my words back to me, laid beside what is Truth, and you take my hand to help me find right footing once again, your courage and love and His Spirit provide the light I need to arrive safely Home.

I am grateful for your words, well-spoken and well-lived, and I am listening.

Proverbs 15:23 To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!

Ephesians 4:15speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom…

Colossians 4:6  Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every one.

From Matthew Henry on Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in us richly, v. 16. The gospel is the word of Christ, which has come to us; but that is not enough, it must dwell in us, or keep houseenoikeito, not as a servant in a family, who is under another’s control, but as a master, who has a right to prescribe to and direct all under his roof. We must take our instructions and directions from it, and our portion of meat and strength, of grace and comfort, in due season, as from the master of the household. It must dwell in us; that is, be always ready and at hand to us in every thing, and have its due influence and use. We must be familiarly acquainted with it, and know it for our good, Job 5:27. It must dwell in us richly: not only keep house in our hearts, but keep a good house. Many have the word of Christ dwelling in them, but it dwells in them but poorly; it has no mighty force and influence upon them. Then the soul prospers when the word of God dwells in us richly, when we have abundance of it in us, and are full of the scriptures and of the grace of Christ. And this in all wisdom. The proper office of wisdom is to apply what we know to ourselves, for our own direction. The word of Christ must dwell in us, not in all notion and speculation, to make us doctors, but in all wisdom, to make us good Christians, and enable us to conduct ourselves in every thing as becomes Wisdom’s children.


About An Earthen Vessel--Terri Apgar

Wife of one, mother of three, so grateful for God's grace--that's me. I'm just tucked into my bay window, opening my heart to God and trying to be brave about letting Him use all that He has crafted inside me to His glory.
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4 Responses to Words

  1. Linda Linscomb says:

    Your thoughts make me realize how powerful our words are. And that I need to think and pray more before I speak. Thank you for using this medium as a tool for good, I look forward to reading more. And thank you for sharing with us, you have a talent for writing.

    • Sometimes I am overwhelmed by their power. At times, this is because I am so careless and I so often do not think or pray before I speak. At other times, I am amazed at the way God has used my words for His good, when I wasn’t even aware of it. Being a “talker”, I often say more than I should. I am trying to work on that. I am encouraged by your words each week, Linda, as you make us aware of one another. They reflect a thoughtful and considerate heart.

  2. Pam says:

    Thank you for your words to give me something to think about and to be encouraged by. I am challenging myself to be more thoughtful with my words especially tomorrow and to let them be encouraging and helpful and not negative. Thanks for sharing your words in your blog. 🙂

    • I will pray for you, specifically. I would have prayed sooner, but just got this message after school. How did it go, today…with your words? I was less snappy than I was the day before at school (crazy time and lots of loose ends with projects…it always makes me crazy and less patient because of the pressure). I need to weigh my words carefullywith my youngest, and pray about them more. I need to pray about his words, too, and how I receive them. I am excited because the kids come home from college tomorrow and I will need to be deliberately prayerful about my words over the next few weeks. Love you lots. 🙂

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