THREE LITTLE WORDS
“Oh what I’d give for that wonderful phrase
To hear those three little words
…Which simply mean I love you.”
This sweet song was recorded by Bing Crosby and the Rhythm Boys with Duke Ellington’s orchestra in 1930—nearly ninety years ago, and these Three Little Words never grow old. In fact, the words, I LOVE YOU, when sincerely expressed, are, I believe, the most powerful, meaningful words ever spoken by the human tongue.
Retiring from full-time ministry, nine years ago, was, to say the least, an extremely traumatic experience. Transitioning from pulpit to pew was a lonely, sad time for me.
To acerbate the situation I relocated, after forty years, to my old home town and to a church where I knew no one, and no one knew me.
I couldn’t stand the loneliness so, being the gal that I am, I quickly became involved. It took time, but over these nine years, I have been accepted by a wonderful group of people, whom I have grown to love. Many in this group have known each other for ninety years, so, much of the time, I still feel like the interloper—the new kid on the block.
There is one beautiful woman in the group who intimidates me a bit. I am sure this is not intended, and that she is totally unaware. It is my own sense of insecurity that fuels the feeling.
A couple of weeks ago, a group of us were chatting waiting for time to go to lunch. I don’t remember the gist of the conversation, but in the act of introducing me to someone, this woman put her arm around me, gave me a squeeze and said to the group, “Faye is the life of the party, and we love her.”
I’m certain no one else remembers that conversation, but it was a “red letter” day for me—one that I cannot forget. Those unexpected words, from that particular person, warmed my heart and made me feel like I belonged.
“I love you! We love you!” Do we have any idea the effect these words, and other words of kindness, have upon those to whom they are spoken?
Words are not simply sounds caused by air passing through the larynx. Unimaginable power lies in our words. God spoke the worlds into existence by the power of His word. (Hebrews 11:3) Words reveal our innermost thoughts and the way we view ourselves and others.
Remember our childhood rhetoric—“Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?”
Nothing was ever farther from the truth! I was a fat little girl in grade school, and grade school children can be mean little monsters. I went home in tears more than one day.
Someone has said that “Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity.” Words have energy and power with the ability to help or to hinder, to humiliate or to elevate, to hurt or to heal, to humble or to glorify. Words can stir up the creative juices in the mind of men. Words can wring tears from the meanest of persons. Words can encourage or destroy sometimes leaving damage that lasts a lifetime.
I read the other day that words are the leading cause of death and dismemberment in global societies, and have been since the beginning of time. Words are usually the cause of teenage suicide. We’ve all heard the stories of bullying.
I don’t remember everything said during my wedding ceremony, but I do remember my brother, who was officiating, giving this word of counsel. “Don’t ever say anything at the expense of your spouse. That is pure meanness.” I have tried so hard to live by that counsel.
We are careless and thoughtless so much of the time speaking barbed words, in the guise of fun, that wound rather than heal. I am convinced that many of us need to take closer notice of the way we speak and the effect our words have upon others.
I quote from Jodi Picault. “Words are like eggs dropped from a great height. You can no more call them back than ignore the mess they make when they fall.”
King Solomon wrote some very sobering words in Proverbs 18:21. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” This truth should give us pause to think.
James 3:2 and 8, “…we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in words, he is a perfect man…But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”
Psalm 19:14 is my prayer today. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”
If my words please Him, my words will bless you!
Three little words! “I Love you,” or “Jesus love you!” Who in your realm of contact needs to hear these words today?
REMEMBER, THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW!