I have a new addiction: Vocabulary.com. I have always been fascinated with words. I love great books and the ability of a talented author to create pictures and plots in people’s minds, simply by organizing words on a page. I read a news article that introduced me to the website that is proving to be a big hit with young people today. (And some of us older people too!)
Vocabulary.com is like playing a game. They put words up and offer four suggestions for possible answers. It is both interesting and humbling. I thought I would probably “ace” this website that the young people have been competing on…I was wrong. But I love that schools have discovered the challenge.
We have all heard of spelling bees between schools but now there is a new competition. Vocabulary.com offers a “Champions banner” to the school whose students learn the most words by the end of each month. They even have a digital leaderboard on their website. Students log in from their school and learn words. Vocabulary.com keeps up with the numbers!
Give it a try. You probably aren’t as knowledgeable as you thought either. If you are, don’t let me know! I am running at about the 70-80% rate. But I am determined.
Have you ever thought about the fact that someone had to invent the concept of “words?” How did we get words in the first place? Genesis tells us that God spoke with Adam and Eve in the garden. I guess there has always been the ability to speak. The tower of Babel confused the spoken language, creating many different languages among God’s creation.
Scripture has a lot to say about the power of words. Vocabulary.com can teach you the meaning of words but God made certain we would understand their power. Here is an overview of the things God wanted us to know about our speech:
Proverbs 21:23 “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.”
James 3:2 “We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.“
Proverbs 15:4 “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
Ephesians 4:15 “Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.“
I think most of the mistakes I have made in my life began with the words that flew thoughtlessly out of my mouth. I love to write – writing gives me the ability to use the big “delete” key in the top right hand corner of my keyboard!
Words have caused people to fall in love and words have caused people to hate. Words have brought about peaceful solutions and have brought countries to war. What we say to others can bring healing, calamity, strength, knowledge, and pain to those we speak them to.
Our vocabulary can be used to help people find salvation in Jesus, or hinder them from wanting that relationship. The gift of speech was given to us by God, so of course Satan will do his best to corrupt it.
We should all remember Paul’s words to the Ephesians today. He said, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29)
If at the end of this day, we have obeyed just that verse – we will have blessed those we spent time with. If you have a tendency to speak “unwholesome” words, spend some time at Vocabulary.com. That will keep you safe for at least an hour!