Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Charlotte's Web

“There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.” Mttw 12:36-37 (MSG)

I went to see Charlotte’s Web with my son, Joshua. He knows me well, that movies touch me, yes even MoveMe, and so he warned, “Dad, Charlotte dies at the end.” I thanked him kindly and my spiritual juices started flowing. This is going to be a movie about redemption through death or how love is about dying for a friend (1 John 3:16).

Although the movie does have some of those elements they weren’t the main thing I got out of it. What MovedMe most of all was how words can affect so many.

At the beginning of the movie we see an ordinary place with ordinary people all doing ordinary things. Not one thing about the place was extraordinary. By the end of the movie everything has changed, the people and place or no longer ordinary they are friendlier to each other and more considerate. If you live long enough on this earth you know that is not ordinary!

You know how it all happened? Words. First, the words “I will not let you kill him” said about the runt, that led to life. Then words were spoken to a shunned spider that led to friendship. That friendship spread to others starting with those in the barn then throughout the town that led to friendlier and more considerate…words. Oh let’s not forget the positive words woven into a web…about a pig.

It really is amazing what words can do. They are more powerful than we think. Scripture says our tongues (metaphor for our words) are like a flame that starts a fire that cannot be put out or like the rudder of a ship though small can steer a great vessel. The world was created by the words, “Let there be…” Jesus was also called the Word (John 1).

History shows that speeches, the spoken word, can change the world ever heard of “I have a dream” or “Ask not what your country can do for you…” or “Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall”? Speeches can motivate positively, like the ones above, or negatively, think Hitler or Stalin.

In my own life I’ve seen the power of words. Have you ever been around someone that constantly makes negative comments? I always end up feeling so defiled…I wonder what it does to that person. I know my words affect my wife and sons for sure. A negative word and I can see chins and shoulders droop, and the opposite if I give a positive word.

After watching this movie I’m reminded and challenged that some day there will be a reckoning for the words I’ve said. They are so powerful having the ability to give life or death.

I'm going to be like Charlotte and choose my words wisely.