“A word fitly spoken is like an apple of gold in a setting of silver. (Proverbs 25:11)”
Words are what make the world go round. Literally. The writer of Hebrews tells us that “…the worlds were framed by the word of God (Heb. 11:3).” God whispered and worlds leaped into existence. There was nothing then there was something. Two short, stabbing syllables did that. Words are potent things.
History is a contingency that hangs on a word. “By Him all things consist; He upholds all things by the word of His power (Heb. 1:3). This divine conversation is the glue that holds the galaxy together. As Francis Schaeffer has noted, “He is there and He is not silent.” If He were silent we would not exist.
However, emphasis must be placed on the trinitarian nature of this conversation. This is not the mumbling monologue of a monad; this is the perichoretic dialogue of Trinity in unity. “God spoke,” is an explicit trinitarian statement. This is no mere tautology; this is fundamental theology. “God breathed out the Word.” That’s how divine speech occurs. Note the principle parts of this speech-act: theos, pneuma, and logos. Thus, creation, revelation, incarnation, inspiration, resurrection, salvation, and re-creation are all “Word-events.” In short, the Triune God deals in words.
Since words are so inextricably tied to who God is and all that God does, it must be said that one cannot love God and despise words. I love words because I love the Word. Words convey to us the genius, the grace, and the glory of God. This is why I so enjoy reading books. There are words everywhere! There are big words, small words, easy words, hard words, funny words, sad words, good words and even bad words. But you should be careful when you pick up a book. It just might change you. You may be made to feel more deeply, to think more critically, to speak more intelligently, and to live more productively. Words have that type of effect on folk. They stir the heart, sharpen the intellect, thrill the soul, and instruct the hands. You may become a “thinking thing”( to borrow the technical, philosophical jargon of Descartes). Some argue that there is no virtue or value in reading and writing but they can’t seem to do it without words. It seems that one can’t even have a decent disagreement without words.
So read. Write. Speak. We are most like the Lord who made us when we learn to use the great gift of language that was bequeathed to us to create and recreate. Through our words we share love and laughter. Through our words we even create new life, as the gospel goes forth from our lips and from our fingertips. The trees of the forrest don’t sing or write poetry. The cattle of the field publish no great works of literature. Gorillas don’t write side-splitting comedies. Words are a treasure given principally to men. If you don’t like to read then learn. If you can’t write well then learn. If you are a poor speaker then become a better speaker. The most offensive thing you can do to the Giver of good gifts is refuse to open and enjoy them.
Read. Write. Speak. Use your words.