The power of words
"Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin." Proverbs 13.3
As the sorry tale of that notorious interview between Martin Bashir and the late Princess Diana is demonstrating, the spoken word has power to cause great suffering - especially when wielded dishonestly. Who knows where it will end but we are certainly learning much about the misery that has already been caused. It's a cautionary tale for all of us. When we open our mouths to speak, are we speaking the truth? Even if we are, is it motivated by love?
One implication of the pervasiveness and impact of social media is that we need to be more careful than ever before about what we communicate - because its potential impact has increased exponentially. But it's not all bad. The dangers of the "Bashir effect" are surely equalled, if not, outplayed by the positive alternatives. A "word in season" can bring reassurance, encouragement and hope. Well-chosen words can diffuse a dangerous situation and/ or solve a tricky problem. When was the last time we told those close to us that we appreciate them?
The account of creation in Genesis relates that God "spoke" creation into existence and Jesus, through whom creation is being renewed, is introduced as the "Living Word". Furthermore he commands us to spread the Good News and to be his witnesses, requiring that we ourselves become his word to our generation. All the more reason to make sure our word is true and emanates from lives of integrity. And we need not worry because he has promised to purify us and give us the words we need.
So trust him and live faithfully. Be blessed and be a blessing...