A Pumpkin Patch of Words

If our words – those said aloud, written down, or typed out – sat lined up like pumpkins in a field to be picked, what would they display? Some might be full of beauty, nicely shaped, and appealing to all. Others might be offensive, shriveled up, and rotten.

When I write a story or an article, I can press two buttons on my computer (“ctrl” and “f” for find) to see how many times a word appears. Did I really say “just” or “that” in every paragraph? One check from this feature and the word of choice highlights in yellow. Usually these words are unnecessary, so I delete them to avoid sounding repetitive.

But what about our words spoken and already flung out into the air? I can’t delete these.

James talks about our tongues in the Bible, “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God” (James 3:9 ESV). While this is bad news and a discouraging thought, we DO have a delete button…

For those who know Jesus, our record is made pure and right: “Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14 NLT).

Because of such good news, I choose my words wisely. Or I hope to, anyway, to honor this great God who shows kindness toward us. I also want my words to consider and esteem the hearers and readers.

What about you? What kind of words do you choose?

Writing Prompt: Thinking of words as pumpkins, pick out a dozen words or adjectives you would like people to use to describe the way you speak to them. For example, I'd choose: thoughtful, graceful, simple and true.

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