HUH??? Five-year-old Matthew wrapped his arms around his mommy’s legs and gazed up at her with stars in his eyes. “I love you, Mommy, to confetti and be gone!”
Laurie was confused for a moment until she finally figured out that Matthew was quoting one of his heroes. Well, almost. Buzz Lightyear would have put it this way, “I love you to infinity and beyond!”
Awwwww! “I love you, too, Buddy!” She bent down to hug the little angel.
The absolute sweetness of the moment makes me smile. Matthew’s vocabulary makes me laugh out loud!
Mandy delighted me when she heard Grandma say “Hallelujah!” and she mimicked it as clear as a bell and in the exact sing-song tones, although she didn’t have a clue as to what she was saying or why. She continued to say Hallelujah over the next couple weeks whenever she heard someone else say that word. She is a little mimic and from the time she was only a few months old has been amazing us with the things that come out of her mouth when you least expect it.
Little ones certainly entertain and amuse us with their chatter, but there are times when we surprise ourselves and have to laugh with what comes out of our own mouths! We’ve all tripped over a phrase or had our tongues get tangled. I find myself with more and more senior moments like that, and “brain burps” when the word I intend to say doesn’t quite come out right or, like Mrs. Malaprop, I confuse it with a similar sounding word. I would share some examples with you, but unfortunately I am having a senior moment right now and can’t remember any! We just have to laugh at ourselves when that happens, and pray it is not Alzheimer’s!
Sometimes saying the wrong thing is simply due to misunderstanding in the first place. I was probably in my forties before I finally heard and understood the words in the song Do-Re-Mi from The Sound of Music. When it comes to the line for the musical note “ti,” the correct words are, “Tea, I drink with jam and bread.” For years I’d been singing “Tea, a drink which I’m in breath.” HUH???
Words can entertain, encourage, influence, amuse, inspire, teach, praise, stimulate, comfort, reassure, strengthen, motivate, enlighten, and nurture. They can be sweet, loving, kind, forgiving, patient, wise, honest, true and righteous. On the other hand, words can also discourage, tear down, hurt, scare, deceive, blame, bully, gossip, nag, curse and boast. They can be hateful, bitter, false, flattering and angry.
The Bible has much to say about what comes out of our mouths. Our words affect others and they reflect our relationship with the Lord. He tells us how to guard our mouths and keep our lips from sin. Here are just a few of the references to the words we choose to use:
Our words ought to be:
Peaceful — Proverbs 15:1
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Pleasant — Proverbs 16:24
Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Truthful and Kind — Psalm 15:1-3
Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
Righteous — Psalm 34:13
Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
Restrained — Proverbs 10:19
In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
Wise and Just– Psalm 37:30
The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
Controlled — Proverbs 21:23
Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
Wise and Kind — Proverbs 31:26
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
Loving — 1 Corinthians 13:1
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
Uplifting — Ephesians 5:19
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Truthful, loving, edifying, kind, forgiving — Ephesians 4:15, 25, 29, 31, 32
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ… Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another… Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers… Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Gracious — Colossians 4:6
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Honest and true — 1 Peter 3:10
For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.
Humble — Proverbs 27:2
Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.
Cautious — Psalm 141:3
Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
Wholesome and pure — Proverbs 4:24
Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
The fool’s words are:
Gossip and rumors — Proverbs 18:8
The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
Thoughtless — Proverbs 29:20
Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.
Foul, dishonest and trouble-making — Psalm 10:7
His [the wicked’s] mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.
False and prideful — Psalm 12:3
The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things
Deceitful — Psalm 55:21
The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.
The source of much evil — James 3:5, 6, 8
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell… But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Our words should praise the Lord and reflect His honor and glory:
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.
My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.
I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
Our words may come out jumbled now and then. We may never be great orators. We may have trouble simply expressing ourselves from time to time, but when the words we say are a blessing to others and bring glory to God they are the right words.