Just Words?

Just Words?

I found this description of something today, see if you can guess what it is:

It is proven to be highly addictive.

  • Users report feeling a surge of euphoria immediately upon use.
  • A user may also experience dry mouth and throat.
  • Many users report drastic changes in physical appearance after use.
  • Some users report almost immediate mood changes.
  • Overexposure may cause extreme physical problems, even death.

Do you know what it is?

Of course, it is sunlight. Although, the weird thing is that I found this description under the name “heroin.” I had no idea that heroin and sunlight had so much in common.

Well, they don’t. Sunlight is a wonderful thing, Heroin is awful. So somehow, my words didn’t quite communicate the right message. This is because words are just metaphors for reality. They are verbal symbols that help us communicate. Of course it is easy to miscommunicate when one word can mean 8 different things depending on who is speaking and who is listening. Words become powerful or meaningless based on perspective. A few simple words can change your life or another’s. If you don’t understand what I mean, let me give you an example.

First an example of how little words can be so powerful. Here are 6 little words that spoken out of context are perfectly harmless. But if you try my little experiment they can change the entire atmosphere of your world. The next time you are getting ready to go out with your spouse just say these words “are you going to wear that?” I promise that the rest of your evening will be different than if you would have just kept that little thought to yourself.

Or how about six words that mean nothing to you at all – “Après la pluie, le beau temps.” You see, if your life perspective does not include French, then this means nothing to you.

Now, hopefully you have all returned from googling our French phrase. Actually the fact that you went to see what it means is kind of the point of this week’s blog. In order to communicate in a way that makes sense to people, we have to learn how to understand another’s perspective. If you want to communicate to your spouse that you love them, you need to understand how they receive love. If you want to communicate a need for change to someone then you will have to know how they receive criticism in productive way. If you want to share God’s love for man with another person, you will first have to know how they perceive God.

Taking a few moments to find out what a french phrase means is a metaphor for taking the time to find out how a person communicates. Realizing that not everyone communicates the way that you do is half the battle.  Everyone has different experiences, perspectives, and feelings that are attached to the words that they use.

Take some time today to know someone a little better, to know how they communicate, to know what the word love means to them. I promise it will be worth it.

From Proverbs 25 –

The right word at the right time

is like a custom-made piece of jewelry,

And a wise friend’s timely reprimand

is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.

 

Reliable friends who do what they say

are like cool drinks in sweltering heat—refreshing!

 

Like billowing clouds that bring no rain

is the person who talks big but never produces.

 

Patient persistence pierces through indifference;

gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses.