What Do I Want My Words To Be?

One day, I will say or write my last words. What do I want them to be?

What if this post contains my last words? One day, something I say or write will be just that – my final words.

That may seem a morbid thought. But everyone dies. And many die in ways that don’t provide the opportunity to plan their last words.

People need to hear the truth, right?

When I was younger, I thought the most important thing was stating my opinion. I mean, seriously, people needed to hear “the truth” because it would set them free. Right? Unfortunately, I really didn’t care how my words impacted others as long as I could have my say.

I cringe when I think back on some of the things I said. Those words were judgmental, unloving, uncaring, critical, and all the other ways words can harm.

Over time, I’ve tried to make amends for the damage I did. I apologized when possible, and tried not to repeat the mistakes. I’ve asked God to heal the pain I caused others.

But I’m not perfect. I try to weigh the impact of my words. In actuality, most of the time I have no idea how my words affect others. I can’t read their minds or feel their feelings. That’s why I try to ask God for the words He wants me to say and write.

Which means I must be mindful of why, how, and what I should say.

Why, how, and what should I say?

The truth that Jesus spoke was motivated by love. The goal was to heal. To draw others to God.

And He knew all about the person. Their background, life experiences, hurts. Everything.

His words helped the person see what needed to be changed – and always gave a way for them to change. He didn’t condemn or shame them.

Jesus knew the impact His words carried. And he didn’t speak just to “have His say”.

There are so many things I want to post to wake people up. To shake them to their core so they’ll straighten up and act right. To cause – or force – them to do what I think is the right thing to do.

And I try not to post any of those words – because they’re motivated by my frustration or fear. And sometimes even by hatred and disgust. I don’t like to think I’m capable of that. But I am.

So I do my best to keep my words silent. To only speak or write after I’ve considered my motivation and the effect on others. But most importantly, if God wants me to say them.

Like I said, I’m not perfect. And sometimes I fail.

But if I remember that one day I will speak or write my last words, and I don’t necessarily know when that will occur, I need to be careful with all of them.

What do I want all my words to be?

Motivated by love. With a goal to heal. And to draw others to God.

How do you determine your words? Please join in the conversation below.

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Joni Vance is an award-winning author of fiction, essay, and poetry. She loves mystery, history, and how God reveals Himself every day.

 May God reveal the mystery of His love in your life story.

8 thoughts on “What Do I Want My Words To Be?

  1. Great post Joni. Whether writing or speaking, our words are so important. I agree we should weight them all carefully.

  2. What an important thing to think about. Our last words. What we are remembered by.

    It reminds me of the scripture “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36 (KJV)

    Whew! Makes me want to just be quiet:)

    • Thanks for your thoughts. I agree – it is best if I speak as little as possible… unless I have a clear message that God wants me to say it. As far as caring for someone, the old adage “Actions speak louder than words” applies. But I have to take the same care with my actions as I do my words.

  3. This was a bit convicting, Joni, but also encouraging. It doesn’t help for me to be critical of my words. You direct my thoughts to God, and He will direct my words.

    • Glad it was helpful. Thanks so much for reading my thoughts and commenting. We do our best and leave the outcome to God.

  4. Thank you for this very thoughtful blog. I will be thinking about this all week.

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