Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Over the years I have heard much talk about love languages.
Whether it all originated with him or not, Gary Chapman wrote a book on the topic.
There are supposedly five languages in total:
Acts of Service
Physical Touch
Quality Time
Words of Attention
The idea is that one of these best affirms our sense of being loved and valued.
When asked to identify my love language, it is words of attention that I claim as having the most meaning for me. 
Close on their heels, though, would follow the rest of the list with gifts taking the last place in the order of priority.
Who doesn't appreciate an act of service or quality time and I know I would shrivel up without a generous helping of hugs!
However, words carry a lot of weight for me.
Spoken or written, I take them to heart.
Words found in a note from a friend seem to embrace me.
A few brief words from a loved one enrich my day.
Then, of course, there are Papa's Words, which can give me a sense of deep peace and joy.
Papa has gifted some with the ability to use words like a fine artist uses his brush and palette of paint.
It is a joy to find a good book. 
What a gift to come across one where an author uses words to bring to life a story one scene at a time.
Though it is not my intention to focus upon any books I have read, at this time, I must briefly mention my latest read!
My book club's selection for this month has been Abraham Verghese's Cutting For Stone.
It is one of those books that I hated to finish.
I wanted to read on and on.
Mr. Verghese is a master story-weaver!
I must admit that I have a touch of envy regarding his way with words!
When I finished the book I was so moved that I held the book to myself, as I sighed...
Yes, words move me.
Sometimes they cause pain and at other times great joy.
Our Mighty God lends many of His Words to the subject of the use of words.
The Book of Proverbs has much to say on the topic.
Many of the chapters of the book contrast the upright and the wicked.
In the Fifteenth chapter the comparison focuses on the use of words.
It opens with these words,
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."
We could spend a lot of time right there, couldn't we?
It isn't all about the words that are spoken to us, but even more importantly the ones we speak to others.
Papa has used the above verse many times over the years in my life.
The chapter goes on to speak of what choices are ours to make regarding how we use words.
Either choosing...
Wisdom or folly.
To soothe or crush some one's spirit.
Spread knowledge or not.
Delight our Heavenly Father or be seen as an abomination.
Stir up strife or pacify contention.
Speaking is not the only choice.
We can choose..
To listen..
      to counsel
      to reproof
To consider before answering.
Those are just a few examples of the nuggets that are found in the rich Word of God.
What do I learn from this?
I need to be just as careful with my words, as I would have others be with theirs.
If I am going to consider that list of love languages, it is very important to remember that they are not just for me.  Though words are most important for me, they may not hold the same priority for someone else.  Yet, the right word is always a gift.
I need the Spirit's guidance and discernment to, as the Twenty-third verse says,
"A man has joy in an apt answer, and how delightful is a timely word!"
Whether the words that come my way bring joy or pain, I will run to Papa to either rejoice with Him or to climb up into His lap and receive His Words of comfort to soothe the pain.
The joy and the comfort will be that much greater if I have first been careful with my own words.
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer."

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