Sat outside in this gorgeous sunshine escaping to the streets of Paris in my latest read, I was reminded of my passion for words. I love words, I surround myself with them. I use them (maybe sometimes too much) but words are essential to my life.
I often talk about the words we say, whether we speak life or death into situations. At work, I talk with pupils about words they say over themselves, or that other people have used against them. How these can hold power over us.
Lately, I’ve been learning Italian on Duolingo. I started it as a challenge, something that filled part of an evening and stimulated my brain rather than saturating it with Love Island or the Marvels new series ‘Cloak & Dagger’. In my ten minutes a day practice I do well, I remember the words I have just learnt. Yet they are not yet ingrained. These words have not made it to my heart yet, they feel very foreign and I have to think every time I see a word. I know they are not ingrained because I still struggle with returning to every test. When tested my weakness is shown.
I have started reading though Acts. I got stuck on chapter 7. It is a familar chapter, and a familiar book. Still, as I read through Stephen’s speech, something new hit my heart. I felt a twing of conviction; this man knows the word. The word of God has saturated him, it’s written on his heart. There were no script in front of him, no ancient texts lying around, no prompt in the wings or earpiece wispering these lines. When under testing, what came out of him was the word of God, the story of God and His people.
Conviction is different to condemnation. Condemnation pushes you away, it says look how you haven’t, look how you never, and how you should be judged. Conviction draws you closer, ‘look what you could be’, ‘let me inspire you’, ‘may I allow grace to propel you’.
This week my heart is convicted and also convinced. Under pressure, it should be God’s word that pours from my heart. Yet there is more, my words pour out of the pen into my journal and like arrows I fire my conviction. I long for my daily speech to be saturated, overflowing in Kingdom words. Not the Ned Flanders kind, but the Jesus kind; grace, peace, love, joy, self-control, gentleness, kindness, patience, goodness, faithfulness, words that bring life.
To overflow however, I must first fill. I’ve become familiar again with the word. I know this passage, I gloss over. Yet His word is living and there is always something He wants to say through it.
Choosing this, means saying no to other things. Namely, as I said last week, mindlessly scrolling through feeds and turning off the TV. We live in days where everything is avaliable whenever we want it yet we acts as if it will all disappear tomorrow.
Feast instead on good food.