Words Have Meaning

In one of the earlier articles I mentioned the childhood game of “Telephone” and how our messages can result in miscommunication.  Another important lesson we all need to learn and practice is the fact that our non-verbals can carry a deeper meaning than our actual words.  The way we speak, the sound of our voice, and our body language speak louder than the words we are speaking.  For several years, I was a member of the Ames International Partner Cities Association.  Rick and I have also been volunteers with IRIS (Iowa Resources for International Service).  We have hosted both students and adults from several foreign countries.  The meanings of words and gestures often carry totally different messages in different cultures.  When we travel to another country, we listen carefully to our tour guides who will direct us things to say or not say to avoid potential embarrassing situations.

I grew up in a church that taught lots of Bible study.  As one requirement of Confirmation, each one of us had to memorize the books of the Bible and their order.  As an adult, I regularly attended a Monday evening Bible study for several years.  Deacon John knew Hebrew, Arabic, and Greek languages.  It is amazing what I not only learned but had to relearn about the content and messages of the scriptures.  The definitions of numerous words have totally different meanings when you learn what they really were in the original language.  One of the main reasons why so many people today have such varied and different points of view in religion is because too many people are thinking and applying our modern day interruption of words instead of getting the correct meaning for the time and language in which they written.

Our words can be positive and uplifting or they can be negative, hurtful, even insulting.  If all of us would take time to speak in positive messages, we would all be a little bit happier.  What message is your voice sending?