This morning as I was bridling my mare to ride, several thoughts came to mind .. There is a story of a a rider, a slight girl, no more than ten years old, who sat astride a massive gelding with ease. She maneuvered him through his exercises with seemingly effortlessness, using the subtle movements of her hands on the reins to direct the animal around markers and over hurdles. The bit in the horse's mouth communicated her directions. When she had started her lessons, she was shocked to learn that the bit, a metal device, is used to control the horse. "But doesn't it hurt", she asked her instructor. "No," the trainer explained, "not if the right bit is inserted with care and used the right way." The girl learned about the different kinds of bits, how to put a bit into a horse's mouth and the correct way to hold the reins so that the bit could be worn comfortably by the horse and used productively by the rider.
There is nothing like a real verbal blunder to remind us of the power of a single word! Indeed, the words that come out of our mouth can hurt, embarrass, offend, and deceive; they can cause pain, misinform, and hide the truth. But that is only half of it ..
Words can comfort broken hearts, strengthen weak relationships, and build bridges between people. Words used wisely and well have the power to inform, educate and teach. With words we communicate with ourselves, with others, with God; and the words that we choose truly matter.
Our outlook on life, as well as our relationships with others and our God, depends largely on the words we use in thought and speech. Truthful, affirming and positive words bless our lives and the lives of those we touch. They nurture the heart and mind. They become our strength and our freedom when we learn how to control them and choose them with care; just like the bit that is used to communicate to my mare.