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Words: Real tools for transformation

Words are used for pronouncement; they help in passing information. Information is power, due to the fact that it empowers you to know what to…

Words are used for pronouncement; they help in passing information. Information is power, due to the fact that it empowers you to know what to do. Lack of information throws one into the dark, confusion and stress because you are not aware of what is happening. Words are manipulative in nature which means it can be positive and at the same time be negative. The nature of words you use determines the kind of response you would get. “do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kinds that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you” (Ephesian 4:29). From the above scriptural passage we would see that St. Paul is laying more emphasis on the kinds of words we are to use because there is always a feedback in whatever choice of words we may choose to use. He encourages us to use words that are helpful, that are capable of building the human person and not destroying them. 

Words that are well constructed are capable of carrying the message you want to pass across. Kind words are also positive, warm and focused; it always do good to those who hear them.  St. Paul warns against negative use of words due to the fact that it always carries a consequence. The result of using negative words is war, chaos and division. Negative words are capable of tearing things apart, once there is war; it leads to division, no progress. Words are to be used carefully as advised by St. Paul because many a times there are misinterpretation of how we look at a particular word. A speaker may use a word to mean a particular thing while the listener may hear the same word and give another meaning to it. Once the speaker and the listener are not on the same page, there is going to be a problem which means no communication. Communication helps to pass across information, and good communication put the speaker and the listener on the same page without been confused.

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However, using of kind words heals a lot of wounds and transforms a lot of things. “Kind words could be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless” says (Mother Teresa). A kind word can change one’s entire day, life, orientation and even mind-set. Many people are going through a lot not knowing how to go about it. A kind word from the heart can go a long way to bring healing and solace to them. As human beings, it is our duty to learn how to use kind words, “you are what you speak” “From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks… (Lk 6:45). From the above scriptural passage, we would see that words are not generated in a vacuum but drawn from the wealth of the heart this is the more reason while we need to fill our hearts with things that are good, and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and honourable (Philippians 4:8). From the above scriptural passage, St. Paul encourages us to fill our minds with things that are good so that whatever words we are going to use would serve as a consolation to those who hear them. Training and discipline of the heart is very important due to the fact that if care is not taken our words may not do good to those who hear them. As Christians, we should use our words to lift others and in turn we too would be lifted up. Words cannot be seen or touched but we can feel them. Kind words often gladden the hearts. 

More often than not, words do a lot of magic more than we can imagine, for instance “thank you”. The word “thank you” is use to show appreciation, many of us find it difficult to say it because we have not made it part of our lives. Appreciation goes a long way and open doors for many favours. Often times, we find it difficult to thank God after receiving favour from Him. Our praises as human beings add nothing to God’s greatness but profit us for our salvation. “As Jesus made his way to Jerusalem, he went along the borders between Samaria and Galilee. He was going into a village when he met ten men suffering from a dreaded skin-disease. “Jesus” master! Take pity on us!” Jesus saw them and said to them, “Go and let the priest examine you”. On the way, they were made clean. When one of them saw that he was healed, he came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself to the ground at Jesus’ feet and thanked him, the man was a Samaritan. Jesus said, there were ten men who were healed where are the other nine?… (Luke 17:11-19). From the above scriptural passage we could see that the ten lepers were in need of healing and they believed that Jesus was capable of doing it. They did not hesitate to go to him, looking at them; he discovered that they were in need of help. This help was the healing he brought to them, but after they had been made whole, they forgot to give thanks only one remembered that there is need for him to come and appreciate God for the miracle he received. It is very unfortunate that many a time most of us do not appreciate God for all he had done for us. When we are pressed down with problem or pain we run to God just like the ten lepers after our prayers are answered, we may not even remember to say “thank you”. This word may be simple but we often find it difficult to use it. Many of us had fallen victim of situations like this. As human beings when we fail to appreciate others for what they had done for us, we may not get help from them next time.

Furthermore, simple word like “thank you” can turn a monster to a Saint, a hater to lover, make a lazy person to be hardworking and as well make a sad person to be happy.  Everybody wants to be appreciated no matter how small the effort might be. Appreciations open doors for more blessings and favours. Another simple word is “sorry”, it may look small but it has a lot of power because it is capable of solving many problems. Some people find it very difficult to use it. Those who are very proud would always have problem with the word “sorry” because it makes them look humble and belittled. Many relationships have been put to an end due to the fact that everybody is claiming to be right, no one is ready to apologise to the other. Those who have made the word “sorry” to be part of them often enjoy peace, friendship and tranquillity. Once you see yourself hurting the other person do not hesitate to say sorry. As Christians, we should be ready to apologise and forgive all those who injured us. Looking at the “Lord’s prayer” Jesus had asked God to forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who sin against us. From above scriptural passage, Jesus had ask us to have mercy on those who had offended us, not seven times but seventy times seven times which means that forgiveness is endless and it can help us to win God’s favour and blessing. “I am sorry” had healed a lot of wound and set a lot of people who are in bondage of pain free. It has also cemented lots of relationships. Sorry is a magic word that can really work wonders.

The word “Please” is another magic word that opens doors to a lot of opportunities, favours, help and progress. It requires humility to imbibe this word (Please). Many a time when we are in tight Corner and we do not know what to do, using this tool “Please” would save us from stress and delay. It can be used by anybody at any time not minding the age. It is the word that calls for attention and things are done easily. It is often despised by the proud and those who are ready to stoop to conquer find this word interesting.

In a nutshell, transformation is meant for all, as humans we are dynamic in nature, to be static is an error. As we grow from one stage to another, we are gradually transforming from what we ought to be to what we really wish to be. No other tools can be used to achieve these magic except “words”. 

Sr Margret Ogbebor SSMA is a Catholic Nun, working in the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto. She is the Head Teacher of St Martin de Porres Nursery and Primary School Katsina. [email protected]


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