'Words have meaning!'; this is true enough, but without actions to back them up, they are, as Scripture says about faith, 'dead', useless! We can all attest to this fact; it's easy to say something, to make promises, but when it comes to following through on those promises, to fulfilling those words, it's often difficult or impossible. Nowhere is this more evident than in the current political landscape. Much of what we have heard from The Hill in the past years has been proven to be just that, 'words'; about as worthless and un-backed as the currency we carry!
In life, we all say things that we almost immediately regret; as soon as they leave our mouth, we wish we could suck them back in or delete them from the other person's memory! The saying goes, 'sticks & stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me', but the truth is, 'words DO hurt us'; whether we would like to admit it or not, we DO feel pain in our spirit, which often translates to physical pain, when someone lashes out at us with words. Ego has much to do with this, both theirs & ours, but whatever the case may be, words can cause pain & are a wieldy instrument of torture!
On the other hand, words can bring much pleasure; a simple phrase, which takes all of a second or two to say, can shine a bright light into an otherwise dark & dreary day! When backed up with action, these three words can mean the difference between life & death. It has been said, 'the pen is mightier than the sword'; history attests to the veracity of these words, for many a revolution has been fomented by words like 'give me liberty or give me death'. Of course, if these words had not been backed by action, the world might look a bit different than it does today!
Words have consequences; when we, with our ego, answer another's ego, we often end up regretting those words, but as long as we do not act on these words, no real harm is done, though the words themselves, usually because of the fore-mentioned egos, may force a rift, to whatever extent, between the two parties. Words mean something; though we often regret using certain words, the very fact that those words came out of our mouths mean that they come from some deep-seated emotion! We quickly say, 'Oh, I didn't really mean that!', but as I heard a lot growing, 'you didn't NOT mean it either!' If we hadn't been ruminating, even in the recesses of our mind, on those very thoughts, the words would never have come out!
Ego is a big problem, in fact, one might say it is the very root of all evil! Ego causes us to think we are better than everybody else, ego can make us jealous of others because we see that we aren't as good as somebody else & ego can make us fight with others who don't believe the way we do; sometimes ego even leads to murder! For example, it was Cain's ego that caused him to kill his brother Abel. When we conquer our ego, which is a constant battle for most of us & begin to use words that heal, rather than words that hurt, especially when we back them up with action, the harm that we might have caused becomes even greater when pointed in the other direction!
A simple phrase such as, 'I love you' can brighten anyone's day! Love is a powerful emotion; it is deep-seated & when truly expressed, can bring almost unspeakable joy to the recipient. When a person feels loved, truly loved, it helps, as the saying goes, to 'tame the savage beast', the ego. On the other hand, when one doesn't feel the calming effects of love, that one's ego tends to take up the slack, so to speak, by boosting itself even higher, to the pint of bursting, even. It has been said, in various ways, that 'all we need is love'; this is true, but then we come to the point where the rubber meets the road: 'what IS love?'
'God is Love', according to Scripture! Okay, so the Living God, the Creator, the Energy of which we all partake is Love; sounds simple enough, right? Well, it is & it isn't; first, we must understand the Nature of the Creator God, the Energy that makes up the universe & all it contains, then we must understand our own nature, our true nature. We ARE human beings, but primarily, we are spiritual beings, partakers of the Divine Image. Once we understand that & recognize the divinity around us, we won't be so eager to battle, to the death sometimes, those who may reflect that Image in a different way or to a different extent than we do!
For the simple fact that words DO have meaning, we must learn the self control, the reining in of our ego, to use the right words, ultimately, to think the right thoughts! Realizing our spiritual nature helps us to learn that control, to beat our ego into submission, so to speak & thus to turn our body into an instrument of love, rather than hate, or fear, from which hate comes. Actions have consequences & when we act upon the right words, the consequences will be healing waters that flow from our inmost being, the Energy that makes us who we are!
( as usual, I speak to myself here, as much as to anybody else )
Charles Haddon Shank