To a writer, words are the tools of the trade.
We agonize over finding just the right word to convey a specific meaning. Don’t use “walked” when “strode,” “shuffled,” or “ambled” is a better fit.
Sometimes, it’s not the word, it’s the order of the words in a phrase or sentence. For instance, “Lost: Wallet belonging to a young man made of calf skin” has an entirely different meaning than “Lost: Calf skin wallet belonging to a young man.”
One boss I had made this observation: “Don’t write so as to be understood. Write so as not to be misunderstood.”
Scan Facebook, or Google “funny grammar mistakes,” and you can have some good laughs at the unintentional things people say or write when they don’t pay attention to their words.
No matter whether you’re a writer or not, it’s important to remember that words are like jewels. They are precious and should be treated with care. Even in scripture, we see that Jesus cautioned us about our use of words:
You will stand in front of governors and kings to testify to them because of me. … don’t worry ahead of time about what you will say. Instead, say whatever is given to you to say when the time comes. Indeed, you are not the one who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit will. (Matthew 13:9-11,GW)
The media today is filled with harsh words, angry words, and unkind words. Let’s try to reverse the trend and fill our social media streams with positive, encouraging, uplifting words. When we need to testify about our faith, we can rely on the Holy Spirit to give us exactly the right words. Words of hope.
Because Jesus, the One who is The Word, promised, and His Word is always true.