13 August 2012

Multitude Monday - 1000 Gifts ~ How well am I stewarding my words?

your word
always in grace
-- with salt being seasoned --
to know how
it behoveth you
to answer each one.
(Colossians 4:6, Young's Literal Translation)

Recently, it seems, there's been a big hullaballoo...

From what I can tell, it has centered on issues of free speech, tolerance and choices, both right and wrong from every side, about how individuals live their lives.

little girls sharing sweet words @ the pool one cooler than normal Sunday afternoon

I've been tucked away on the backside of the desert, a little enamoured (maybe obsessed when it was time for swimming) by actually streaming live Olympic events, so I've really only gotten wafts here and there - mostly via Facebook.

As I've read statuses and comments and made a few of those comments myself... Knowing that I am a person who loves words and loves using words, particularly written ones... Well, I've been thinking...

Truthful, inspired words like these (shared by friends of all stripes, with whom I adamantly agree and also deeply disagree) have confronted and deeply convicted.

“Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”

- James 3:6
“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
- Matthew 12:36-37

I must confess.

Many, many times I've not been a good steward of either my words, or of my responses to the words of others.

I'm asking myself: "What good is this all important, seemingly-most treasured-above-all, "American" right to speak my mind freely if the exercise of that right wounds others?" and, "As a Jesus-follower, should I insist upon that right?"

I'm also asking myself:
  • "Do I automatically assume that another's words are intended to hurt me?"
  • "Do I recognize those words might have been said with no thought of me in mind so I don't need to take it so personally?"
  • "Do I choose to discern if the Holy Spirit might be using those words to confront, convict, teach and change me, regardless of the word-smith's intent?"
  • "Can I be thankful, even for words that pierce, hatefully delivered with a goal of wounding, if God uses them to work change in my life?"

According to Wikipedia, stewardship refers to
"...an ethic that embodies responsible planning and management of resources. The concept of stewardship has been applied in diverse realms, including with respect to environment, economics, health, property, information, and religion, and is linked to the concept of sustainability.... Historically, stewardship referred to the occupation of a steward. Initially, stewardship was the responsibility given to household servants to bring food and drinks to a castle dining hall. The term was then expanded to indicate a household employee's responsibility for managing household or domestic affairs. Stewardship later became the responsibility for taking care of passengers' domestic needs on a ship, train and airplane, or managing the service provided to diners in a restaurant. The term continues to be used in these specific ways, but it is also used in a more general way to refer to a responsibility to take care of something belonging to someone else."
Maybe I need to decide.

Do my words belong to me?

Or do they belong to One I claim to follow and serve... One I assert guides and directs my life, One for whom, I maintain, I am a living sacrifice, the One who has purchased me by His blood?

My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
if you have struck hands in pledge for another,
if you have been trapped by what you said,
ensnared by the words of your mouth,
then do this, my son, to free yourself,
since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands:
Go and humble yourself;
press your plea with your neighbor!
Allow no sleep to your eyes,
no slumber to your eyelids.
Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
like a bird from the snare of the fowler.
- Proverbs 6:1-5


this week's gratitude list

(#'s 2930 - 2965)

kind words spoken, whispered, written or filtering through my inbox

those ah-ha moments when Scripture speaks to exactly what you've been thinking and wondering about

hearing that our dear, sick friend/auntie is starting to feel better

little boy faithfully remembering to pray for her

a totally unexpected skype conversation that helped relieve fears

listening to sweet, earnest prayers lifted up on behalf of others

another year... another round of Character Sketches with the littlers

little girl with very little clothes but a very big smile, waiting and waving as I drove in in a downpour... simply to tell me she loves me

first day of school

first day of his senior year

big smile as she skips into first grade

home schooling for her first year of secondary school

so many exciting "firsts" this week

progress made on lesson plans

fun first day activities... the students seemed to think so, too

trying something new in our home schooling world... a subject a day throughout the week

her desire for independence on orientation day

the opportunity and potential of new friends

antibiotics finished...

hoping the lab report comes back as a resounding negative

a new French novel I can't wait to start

reading late into the night, just because I can

castor oil - Who knew it would work so well (painlessly so) ridding knees of stubborn warts? At least it certainly appears to be working!

figuring out scheduling details for those "different" sorts of kids

summer math courses I've facilitated are DONE! YIPPEE!!

so much safe travel as students, teachers, vacationing families and others have safely returned to Niamey

new resolve to return to more structured menu planning and Saturday morning grocery shopping

grilled pita & cheese sandwiches, perfectly spiced bean dip and sour creme for dinner... all made by Rebekah Joy

Saturday morning sleeping in until littlest girl and littlest boy arrive for snuggles

loads of CLEAN laundry... the basket in the laundry room empty!... all waiting to be folded and put away

finally getting the office/school room into some semblance of order after so many visitors... actually since we moved into this house

seeing how my now 9th grade homeroom class is growing up ~ and how much they've changed since my first experience with them... filling in for 9 weeks as their English teacher a few years back.

the importance of all those connections: this FMF post was rather powerful for me, even as I tapped it out

getting the stove, under it, behind it and beside it clean once again... at least for a few days!

this blog starting up

returning to a schedule that includes quiet mornings, just me awake in the house... time to think, pray, write, study and quietly work before the day starts



  1. Oh wow, there is so much to think and pray about in your post. When I read Bonhoeffer earlier this year, it said that their parents never allowed them to speak of foolish things. I was in awe of that. And after reading Mathew 12, I believe that his parents were wise to not allow such talk. It stuck with him throughout his life. Thanks for sharing!

    1. i agree completely - wisdom guards against foolish speaking. and i wonder if in our casual approach to the use of language, if we don't step over that line more often than we think.

      thanks for stopping by and saying hi!


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