Saturday, October 29, 2011


Words.  I love words.  I love speaking them, listening to them, reading them and writing them.  I just re-read my last post and thought about the line, "words can easily hurt but can rarely heal."   It just hit me what a strong statement I wrote, even in context.

Is it true?  I spent some time this morning using words to persuade one of my daughters to study more effectively.  I even asked her to consider what else might motivate her because the many words I was using involving consequence, implication and application--none of it was resonating.

I teach Bible studies because I know the truth in Scripture (inspired words) leads to a more confident, more honest, more impactful faith walk. 

What started this wordy tome on words, you ask (good question).  This bottle of lotion on my desk.  I don't need much to launch. 

If you can't read it, let me translate.  This lotion will, "melt away stress and help you unwind and feel at ease."  WOW.  Who knew? 

I realize that in the United States advertising and marketing writers are required to exaggerate, stretch and entice.  However, this reaches beyond the limit of a good pitch.

Is this harmless, just a far fetched use of words to attract my attention away from the 1,253 other lotions with the same sort of smell? 

Does it point to a greater issue that we so misuse words that we communicate and create empty meaning?

I am reading for a review a book about the spirituality of Oprah Winfrey.  Not a huge fan of this book or Oprah for that matter, thus the my plodding approach to the assignment.  However, the book is full incredible exaggeration that passes for inspiration or revelation.  Like the lotion bottle. 

Has our careless hyperbole created a problem in our ability to wisely communicate or are we just silly?

I don't know, I revisit my words to a friend about the power of words to hurt someone and the rare occasion when words really help.  I wonder if our misuse adds fuel to that dilemma?

Takeaway:  use words with care.

Also:  this lotion does smell good and makes one's skin soft.  Period.

1 comment:

  1. "Has our careless hyperbole created a problem in our ability to wisely communicate or are we just silly?" you ask. BOTH. And I must add that it's not just carelessness with hyperbole. I see a carelessness with how we express ourselves, period. Slam poet extraordinaire Taylor Mali illustrates this phenomenon beautifully in his poem "Totally Like Whatever," rendered into type art in this link:




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Roswell, GA
Loves to find the answers to three questions of a sound Bible study: what does it say, what does it mean, what difference does it make?