Sunday, February 5, 2023

Too Many “Wasted Words”!

Sometimes I am frightened by all the words that fill our days with physical and mental noise. We have more words today than ever before in history, and more ways of saying them. So many of our words boil down to people saying things to people about other people. We call it conversation or even dress it up as  "concern" for one another, or—depending on our media platform—opinion, journalism, scholarship, analysis, information, exchange of views, etc., etc., etc. Not to mention hostile comments on social media, Twitter mobs, and all the new ways the internet keeps devising for us to throw virtual mud at one another.

What so much of it really is, in the end, is one form or another of self-affirmation, gossip, unnecessary curiosity, detraction, calumny, or cynicism. We use words to assert ourselves, or to make war on one another. And our words express what is inside our hearts. We have hearts full of violence.

I am perhaps more cautious in my choice of terms, but I am no less self-deceptive than anyone else when it comes to mudslinging or just plain talking too much. I have to ask myself, "How often, when I speak or write, am I truly seeking to point to reality, to build up life, to affirm what is good? How often are my words aimed at distraction, or at drawing attention to myself?" 

How many wasted words! And yet I have a desire to speak the truth. I have the desire and the prayer that my words might be works of mercy and instruments of peace. Yet I am always running into my narrow, petty self.

I think perhaps we speak foolishly because we are insecure. We seek attention with our words, even at the expense of others. Why? Because we are afraid that we are not loved. Or, rather, we have forgotten that we are loved. We are not nourished by a vital connection with the One who loves us.

We need prayer. And not just more words of prayer. We need silence.

We need to let Him love us.