Your Words

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 12:18 ESV

When you’re pondering what
you could possibly give,
and the thought of God
using you
seems absurd
consider what you share
for good or for ill.
Think about the power
of your words.

Choose…

Words spoken in haste,
off the cuff.
Words soaked with anger,
too rough.
Words intended to defend
what shouldn’t get defense,
words thrown into the air
with uncertain intent.
We teach children not to play with fire,
then we fire off our mouths
and burn our families down.

Or…

Word spoken with thought
for the hearer.
Words that consider others
more dear.
Words spoken
slowly
with careful inflection,
words the Holy Spirit
prods us to mention.

If we’re wise we beseech
the author of wisdom
for the best direction
of our tongue.
A college degree won’t help you
if your heart and mind
hasn’t learned
the message of the Son.

“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words, you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:36-37

The right words spoken at the wrong time.
Words spoken when silence would be better.
Words written,
then sent
when wisdom says
burn the letter.

Words go to war
or make peace.
Words give dignity
to the least.
Words can separate
or cement
the marriage bond.
And the examples go on
and on.

Finally,
if you would know
what God would have you speak
when the Spirit says it’s your turn,
seek first the wisdom of God.
Rightly consider
His Word.

© Joel Tipple 2/9/2019

Why, Poet?

Why, Poet?
Are these your Psalms?
Like David, have you felt
you don’t belong?

Have you felt your words
float into the ether
without a corresponding hail?
Have you expressed desperation
when especially assailed?

Chin up, poet!
For like the bards of old
God won’t leave you
because you’re bold.

Continue to sing,
without notes, just words.
Continue to speak,
though you feel absurd.
Continue to shine,
even when it rains.
Continue to share,
’cause we all feel pain.

© Joel Tipple 11/17/2018

Quick to Hear

Know this, my beloved brothers; let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
James 1:19

“Just as love to God begins with listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren begins with listening to them.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Do I hear you?
Or do I only hear your voice?
Not the words between the words
and emotion conveyed
not the words left out
for fear of their weight.
Do I hear your concern
and mix it with my own,
or do I rush to correct
with an errant tone?
Do my thoughts replace what I might learn
because I’m anxiously waiting my turn?

© Joel Tipple 11/13/2018

The Words of Jesus

Life beyond this life.
Hope beyond this hope.
The sustenance of my every day,
the words that Jesus wrote.

He wrote His words upon my heart,
every word He said.
They’re with me in the morning, when I rise,
and at night when I fall to bed.

For the words that Jesus wrote,
their refrain and their release,
though every Bible in every hand may close,
they never…
never
will cease.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”
Matthew 24:25

© Joel Tipple
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