Words with Friends…oh yeah….I”m there. I love this game. When I first began playing it however, I innocently thought it was just a game. You know, just something you played, well, with friends, for fun. . . for pleasure. . . for connection. Well, hello Dawn! Wake up and smell the oatmeal!! I WAS SO WRONG! This game is about strategy, and cunning, and domination–at least to some people I play. I learned that you can’t just play your word, you have to play your word to block your friend from making plays. You need to cut them off from getting ahead. You need to hold back until just the right time and then make your move. You need to take advantage of every double letter, triple word score combination you can until the last QAT is played. And then, you post your domination to the world on facebook!!!!
This month our children’s minstry is learning about self control. . . .doing what you should do, not what you want to do. And this past week our lesson has been about our words–which has had our kids thinking a lot about words with friends. So, of course I have been thinking about words with friends. Not as in the game, but as in our lives. Our kids have revealed how easy it is for real life to become like the game. One minute you are friends, the next opponents. One minute you are just having fun and somehow the next you have planned out a strategy to bring them down. The effects of insecurity, pride and self centeredness take over and we lose all self control finding ourselves belittling, gossiping, or controlling those we love for our own protection and self interest. But, it’s not just kids who have that struggle, now is it?
Scripture has more than 400 references to the word “words.” We speak them, twist them, repeat them, hear them, fix them on our hearts, recite them, uphold them, fulfill them and take them to heart. We confirm them, mark them, despise them, deny them, search for them and test them. They can cut, ensnare, be spewed, soothe or sharpen. They can be perverse, sweet, seductive, truthful or lies. And if the truth be told, most of us have used them in all these ways at one time or another. But when all is said and done, I am thankful for a friend and mentor who passed on these words to me when I was young mother raising our two sons. The cross stitch she gave me hung by my phone for years (before we called them landlines, and most of us still had them!!). It is still hanging in my kitchen today as a great guide to how to choose my WORDS WITH FRIENDS: Let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt so that you will know how to answer everyone (Colossians 4:6). Thanks, dear friend, for using your words with friends to encourage me and reminding me that someday God would be using my words with friends to encourage others.
If you have a favorite scripture or saying that helps you or your kids use words in an enouraging way, feel free to share it here. Let’s work together to “encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of us may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”(from Hebrews 3:13) and if you ever have the time maybe we can get in a quick game of wordswithfriends soon!