This week the pressures of overseeing our humble remodeling effort have kept me moving, and in the past two days anger has swept over me, almost drowning me in emotional “in-bursts” and out bursts. What robbed me of my composure is one too many conversations with a mechanical voice. Before I could speak to a person, I had to answer a computer’s questions; sometimes I lost track of the choices and had to start over; sometimes I heard way too much elevator music; once the computer hung up on me, and then my cell phone started ringing with a computer-generated notification of an appointment. Surely, I could maintain my composure simply conveying information to a machine?
What I have thought and what I have said this week has been neither wise nor kind. (Proverbs 31:26) And this week we began a study of Dr. Paul Tripp’s book, War of Words. Does God have a sense of humor or what?
Dr. Tripp described the purpose of words, using Proverbs 18:21 in a pointed paraphrase: Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit — you choose. (From THE MESSAGE ) God gave us words so we could, among other things, solve problems. (Can you imagine ordering phone service without using words?)
I had several problems this week – arranging work, ordering services and getting information – but how I chose to use my words, spoken and unvoiced, brought a bitter harvest. No computer held a gun to my head, demanding I think or speak rudely; I chose, either to think, or to say unkind, unwise words. More than once, I yelled – at a computer – to make a point; worse, I used words as if no one else could hear, souring my tone when a real, live person finally came on line.
So, how far have I come this week? (1 Samuel 7:12) I am learning again, Someone listens, and He hears even my unspoken words.
“May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer ” – even when I am answering a computer’s questions. Let me use Your gift of words so I might be prepared to speak with wisdom and winsomeness to the next person you place in my path. (Psalm 19:14 TLB)
All rather ironic given my comments on Rep. Wilson , huh?