Sunday, July 17, 2016

A MATTER OF FAITH: WORDS

Job 16:3-5 NKJV
“Shall words of wind have an end? Or what provokes you that you should answer? I also could speak as you do. If your soul were in my soul’s place. I could heap up words against you, and shake my head at you; but I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief.”

The many words of Job and his friends reveal the importance of words, it is a lesson I am still learning. It is not just the word used or the familiar phrase stated just as important is the volume, tone, and circumstances in which a person speaks that will influence how a message is received. Body language: is the speaker standing, sitting, in close proximity to the individual on the other side of the room, hands on hips, hands in the air, hands touching a persons body and so forth; all influence how an individual will respond to what is spoken. But it is not just words used verbally but those used in writing that have an effect on people.

The book of Job, the story of one mans encounter with the devil, reveals the importance of words. The life of Job occurred before there was any knowledge of Satan and so it was assumed that Job’s problems was caused by God thus all of the solutions were based on his interaction with God. In chapter 2 verse 9 his wife suggest that he “curse God and die” in order to relieve his pain; she knew that such an act would result in his death. Jobs friends opined as to why he was in such a predicament and how he could get out of it; even Job shared his thoughts.  And then God revealed how foolish all of their words were.

Job 38:2 NKJV
“Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?”

Our opinions can be like darkened counsel; ill-informed.  We speak because we believe we know more than the person we are speaking to.  Jobs friends were sincere in their rhetoric but still wrong by God’s standards. Often friends and family speak out of tradition or passion when attempting to help solve a problem; this is what did Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar and Elihu, Jobs’ friends did. God declared their words- without knowledge.

You can be wrong even when you are right. For example telling someone there hairstyle looks awful may be true but:
In a public place it is embarrassing and may cause a person to not to try new things again.
It can be hurtful. The term “awful” may be accurate but it will not result in a hairstyle change. Perhaps saying: “I see where you were going, perhaps if you chose to_____ it would suit your personality a bit better.
It can be offensive. If the person does not like you, respect you, or simply don’t think you have their best interest at heart they can believe you are just being mean-spirited.

How many people feel rejected because words spoken by a friend or loved one was said at an inappropriate time or in an inappropriate way? Rejection can manifest in many different ways at various times, rebellion is often a sign that a person has experienced rejection.

The written words by an anonymous person on Social Media can lead an individual to behave drastically even suicide. On Facebook incendiary statements with pictures contribute to a particular opinion are shared throughout the cyber-world with unintended consequences.

Media outlets, that have gone beyond print, use head lines to trigger specific emotions the words are shared regardless of their truthfulness. Words like: racist, murder,injustice, discriminate, sexist, and so forth are incorporated into headlines to grab at the emotions of the reader. Written words may be proven to be wrong but the damage cannot always be undone.

Who is speaking the truth? Each religion believes they know the truth. Each political party believes they know the truth. Many parents believe they are teaching their children the truth.

Romans 3:3-4 NKJV
“For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: ‘That You may be justified in Your words, and may overcome when You are judged.’”

Once upon a time words meant something; today people question God’s Word and accept the words of people who have hidden motives. Many speak “who darkens counsel by words” their words do not agree with God’s word. Often people speak “words of the wind” with no apparent end.

And that is the world according to NETTIE xxx Short Stories and essays and other ramblings by Marsha L F Randolph; All rights reserved do not use without the permission of the author Marsha L F Randolp