What I Meant to Say Was …

What they meant to say was different from what they said. True bloopers from the pulpit and church bulletins:

wordsLadies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.

Don’t let worry kill you off – let the Church help.

Miss Charlene Mason sang ‘I will not pass this way again,’ giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.

Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.

Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM . Please use the back door.

I chuckle when I hear or read these slips of the pen or tongue. I, too, am guilty of saying one thing when I meant to say another. Spell check missed it, or I spilled my thoughts without forethought or edit.

This month, I delivered mid-year performance reviews. Past experiences taught me the lesson of word power during this time. Like a potter’s hands on clay, words can land with enough force to shape their audience. They prompt people to act or stay on the sidelines, to decide to come or decide to go. Words bring us into relationship or separate us.

“…Words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless,” said Mother Teresa. Written or spoken, intentional or accidental, words make or break (or brake) reputations. Words bring down societies or build empires. Words help or hurt those on whose ears they land.

… take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. (James 3:4-6, NIV)

Did I mean to burn that forest?  What I meant to say was …

A thought for the week: When have words impacted you? Where this week will you have opportunity to make an impact with your words?

photo credit: Darwin Bell: http://creativecommons.org/licenses


About Gloria Ashby

I'm a writer, speaker and teacher. I live with my husband in the DFW area, and close to our daughter and her family.
This entry was posted in Serving Others, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What I Meant to Say Was …

  1. Lara says:

    Gloria, Your devotionals are such a blessing, they always speak to me. I just wanted to say we are happy yall officially joined our church. We all got so lucky to have yall in our Sunday school class. have a Blessed week. Lara

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