Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Thoughts. Words. Deeds.

Deeds... actions; choices; consequences. They all go together. Sometimes, the choice we make, the action we choose, can have consequences that reach further than we could ever imagine. Some affect days, weeks, months. A few will impact the next several years, maybe even decades. Some will even change the course of the rest of our life. But then there are those that have eternal consequences - the big ones, that impact where we will spend eternity, and how we will spend it... those are the really important ones. The ones that truly matter. And yet, those things that "merely" impact the remainder of our earthly lives can seem so big, so profound... and the consequences can seem insurmountable and all-encompassing. So what do we do when we are standing face to face with the result of our deed? Whether that deed was good or bad, whether the consequence is favorable or terrible, we then have to choose how we will let it impact us. We may not have any say in the physical events that follow, nor in how those events will alter so much. But we do choose how those events will change us as a person. Will it make us stronger? Will it makes us more cautious? More bold? More decisive? Uncertain? Do we choose to embrace forgiveness for wrongs committed, or do we choose a lifetime of guilt and condemnation? If this life shakes and rattles us, do we get back up? Or do we stay down for fear of falling short yet again?

Words. Words are so powerful... not just the verbal representation of various concepts or ideas, but also our tone, our inflection, our intended meaning. But mostly, our words themselves. If we speak only truth, we find our faith growing stronger. We find our ability to discern sharpened. If we speak only lies, we reap only doubt. Our faith falters, fades, and eventually disappears. We don't trust, don't believe, and eventually are unable to distinguish truth from falsehood. If we speak truth one day, and lie the next, our faith struggles. We lose trust in our fellow humans, and find ourselves uncertain at critical moments in life. We can use our words to help and encourage other people. In a matter of seconds, we can lift another's mood, bring a smile, a laugh, or tears of relief. We can calm fears, squeeze out loneliness, and comfort heartache. Or we can be bringers of destruction. We can sow sorrow, fear, and uncertainty. We can choose words that will cause another to become filled with self-doubt, shame, or embarrassment. So we must be so very careful what we say, and how we say it.

Thoughts. Thoughts are perhaps the most difficult area of our life to control. Our thoughts can get us into trouble or out of it. We can allow them to lift us up or tear us down. The tricky part is remembering that we are in control of our own thought life. We may not be able to prevent things from popping up in our head, but we can certainly choose to over ride those thoughts. We can use words and deeds to tame our thoughts. And if we're uncertain what we've been thinking on, those same words and deeds will reveal it. We are to think on those things which are good, perfect, beautiful, noble, and right.

So much I want to write tonight, so many thoughts and questions rolling around. But for now, anyway, I will keep them to myself.

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