Thursday, February 19, 2015

Healthier Phraseology

In the old movie The Music Man, the mayor's daughter continually says the craziest things, and the mayor continually reprimands her by saying, "Watch your phraseology!" 

I always laugh when I think of those movie characters. However, the sad reality is that a lot of our common "phraseology" today is very unhealthy. 

Consider these often-used phrases:

"killer headache"
"scared to death"
"you're killing me"
"that kid is a monster"
"that breaks my heart"

I could list many more examples like this, phrases that have infiltrated our culture and become commonplace. When we say them, we know that we don't mean these things literally. But look at how negative these sayings are...all about death, destruction, and evil. 

I've said or heard these kinds of phrases for years. But recently God has shown me how harmful they are. Our thoughts and words have power - far beyond what we usually attribute to them. Are we speaking life over ourselves and others? Or death? 

It's not hard to come up with creative alternatives for the above examples:

"this headache is very unpleasant" (but it's not killing you, don't give it that power)
"I'm fighting the emotion of fear right now" (but I will overcome by God's love that casts out fear)
"you're something special" (even when you act unbecomingly, you are still loved by God)
"that kid is misbehaving" (but he/she is a wonderful creation of God)
"that is a very sad situation" (my heart is continually joyful in Jesus, though my emotions are moved with compassion for that situation)

Words help us express thoughts and emotions. But words also affect our bodies and our health - either positively or negatively. Let's use words that promote health even in the midst of challenges, and words that are good even in bad situations

I want to encourage you this week to pay attention to the words that automatically come out of your mouth. Listen to what other people are saying too. Don't let the devil put words of death in your mouth, even if they are commonly spoken. Watch your phraseology and help others as well. Together let's reclaim this precious gift of words that bring LIFE.

"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." -Proverbs 18:21

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