Words & music make a song!
Hi guys! I guess you might understand that the slang ‘guys’ that I just used to address you, the young reader, refers (unfortunately ) these days to both the genders. I had deliberately used that ‘salutation’ to make a point in this article. The original meaning of ‘guy’ was -a grotesquely dressed person- as per the British dictionary when the word was coined. So definitely it was not a nice way of addressing a person, but then it became a colloquial word to address a young boy, but now it has found its way to be used to address a group of people, irrespective of gender or age! But no matter what, the word still carries its original meaning.
We find many such words which were considered impolite creeping into our daily speech. I use the word ‘creeping’ because it is almost creepy when you come to think of it! It shows how our values can change in a quick amount of time. Words define a person. The nature or character of a person is determined by the words chosen to communicate, apart from the person’s actions. When words combine with music it becomes a song. If our lives were a song & music was our soul then the words we use will determine how good or how bad our ‘song’ (life) is. If they were pleasant songs then people would want to sing it over & over again being drawn & uplifted to its pleasing melody. No wonder Casting Crowns, the popular band, came up with the song ‘Let my life song sing to you’.
Words matter a lot in every walk of life. The first thing that we are ever given in this world is a word-the name that we are christened with. Every time that word is called forth we respond to it since it is our name. In court the judge gives the final verdict with just a word- guilty or not guilty. In weddings the couple say their vows & seal it with their oath with ‘I do’s’. The world was created with a word from God –‘Let there be’ light…etc.Esau sold his birthright & lost his blessing that were due to him with just a word.James 3:6 says The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. Ecclesiastes 8:4 says- ‘Where the word of a king is, there is power’. Matthew 12:37 says ‘’For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Therefore words do carry a lot of power & can steer us through life taking us to our destiny.
I grew up never knowing what abusive words or swearing ever meant. But when I was a fifth grader I somehow picked up some curse words & began to use them in school not knowing what it meant, although I knew those words were supposed to be censored! The habit of swearing grew with me faster than I grew up & before long it became part of my personality transforming my very nature & character. Even when it came to singing I never cared what the lyrics were. Many of the Heavy Metal songs that I sang as a young rock star, either indirectly or directly applauded evil, Satan & Satanism. As I sang them I found myself being unconsciously transformed from a pleasant lad to a rebellious hound! It costed my peace of mind along with a lot of other losses including the loss of values in life, until I found God & gave my life to Jesus.As a matter of fact it was the words of the good book, the Bible that help me find my place with God.It gave happiness, peace, fulfillment & revealed the deeper meaning of my life. But then it was still a struggle for me to give up my swearing, almost to the point that I would fear speaking lest profanities spilled out of my mouth unconsciously in public places! Thankfully the more I read the Bible the more those words were replaced by words of Life.
Every now & then I bump into folks, who portray themselves as good Christians or at least to be of decent caliber, swearing profanities either unconsciously or consciously. My education background in psychology made me go a step further & see why people like to swear & what made them behave this way. Speaking from experience I reckon the words I used helped establishing my identity. In search of identity & in the dissatisfaction of who I was, I began to come up with a false identity by speaking the same bad words spoken by those whom I considered ‘cool’. This stemmed out of a poor self image & a blurred identity of who I was. When you live in a foreign land among people who speak a foreign language, you eventually want to pick up that language not only to communicate effectively but also to identify yourself with them. That is what happens when a person gives up his good vocabulary in exchange for profanities. A distorted self image makes him want to stoop down to the pits instead of moving higher in life. And that was exactly what I was- a person filled with inferiority & insecurity, vainly hoping that by the ‘cool’ words I spoke, people would look at me with fear & awe. I guess I was a desperate seeker lost in a threatening world of challenges, like many of us, trying to find who I really was. Thankfully Jesus who went after the lost sheep found me & I was able to discover my true self & true identity in Christ. And this is the identity I found in the book of Ephesians:
Eph2: 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Hopefully if you are around your father or even your school principal you would think twice before speaking profanities. The same way when you find your identity in Christ, the God of the universe,& when you know that he raises you up to be seated with Him in the heavenly realms filled with peace, love & beauty you would certainly measure your words before you speak them. (Read Ecc 5:2)
I would definitely recommend reading the first & 2nd chapter of Ephesians to find your true identity.
Eph1:18 says ‘I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,’
Sometimes we swear out of rebellion, out of frustration & anger. This is because we lack self control & try to let out our steam by swearing. Prov 25:8 says Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. The Bible says ‘death & life is in the power of the tongue’ (prov 18:21).When we choose to use the vocabulary of demons we open a way for Satan to come in & ruin our lives. The very scheme he tried to employ in my life. Today my life is blessed because I made a choice to give up words that were not aligned with God & chose to read & speak words of life from the word of God. Wherever Satan tried to destroy me God’s promises that I spoke over myself took action & brought life instead of death. As I grew out of my poor self-image & began to understand the great plans in my life, I began to change my meaningless vocabulary & made an effort to watch my words. I began to bless people rather than curse them & I also spoke out good things about myself & positive words based on God’s promises recorded in the Bible. Eventually I saw good things happen to me.
For example I love travelling & visiting other countries but I understood there was no way I could ever afford it nor did I know anyone who lived outside India, where I grew up. But when God started changing my words & thoughts, every time I passed by the airport I would look at the aircrafts on the runway & speak out to myself loudly thanking God that I would soon be there. I would even tell my friends that I would soon be visiting other countries. The very same year that I started to confess it, God opened a door out of the blues & put me on a flight to the US with all my expenses paid forever so often I see God aligning things in my life according to the words that I speak. I am therefore very careful to speak out the right things, knowing that God is waiting for a good word from my mouth just to fulfill it. God’s love is amazing!
If you are lost in your search for true identity & if you are using words that are destroying you rather than building you up, look no further than the Bible. Reading it not only changes your personality for the better, raising your self esteem, but paves the path for a joyous & harmonious life. One way to identify low-self esteem is that you will find yourself trying to mould into the identity of your peers. You would value their decisions & opinions more than yours. You would be looking for their approval in everything you do. It is quite common to fall into that category, but if that trait gets a grip on you, then you can never stand up on your own for your own values & you will always live by their approval. If that is the case then you would need to discover who you really are & your purpose & meaning in life. Get yourself a Youth Bible & spend time meditating & reading it as it will change your life drastically for the better & raise your self-confidence & self-esteem. You would walk with dignity knowing that you are loved & cared for & that Jesus, the greatest & coolest person who walked this earth, thought that you were worth dying for despite your falls & failures! You can be a song in the heart of God. (The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zep 3:17)