Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Speak It Right - Martin Wiles

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you. Psalm 19:14 NLT

Sometimes, the right word is important.

On a trip to a popular restaurant, I was reminded of how important words are. My wife and I—along with many others, mulled about waiting for the hostess to call our name. We listened as one name after another was called.

“Jones, party of six, your table is ready,” the hostess announced.

“Estes, part of four, you are next to be sat.”

As a grammar teacher and current editor for several websites, the mistake grated on my nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard. Before I could get the correct form of the word out of my mouth, another customer said, “seated.” We both had a good laugh. I suppose he was a fan of proper grammar as well. Whether anyone called the mistake to the hostess’s attention, I’m not sure.

The psalmist wanted God to accept his words and the thoughts of his heart. I’m not sure whether or not God is a fan of proper grammar. I do know He wants me to speak proper words and think proper thoughts.

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminded the listeners who claimed to follow Him that they were the salt of the earth. And the right word has a way of seasoning other people’s lives and circumstances as salt does food.

As an editor, I make sure my words and the words of others that I publish are grammatically correct. In the writing world, this is important. Poor penmanship and incorrect grammar are sure ways to keep others away from a website. My job is to make other writers and authors look and sound good.

God wants me to speak His love right also. I can use proper grammar and still not speak profitable things. I can speak discouragement, fear, anxiety, vulgarity, unkindness, hate, and worry into others’ lives—and with proper grammar. At the same time, I can use poor grammar and speak encouragement, comfort, kindness, love, and peace into others’ lives. Grammar isn’t the issue—my heart is. That’s why the psalmist included it in his request of the Lord.

While good grammar is important, what we speak into others’ lives is more so. Let your words season others’ lives by pointing them to a Savior who is filled with love for everyone. Then love them with your words and actions.

Prayer: Father, may the words of our mouths be pleasing unto You. 

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