"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." Luke 6:45
Words, words, words.
It is staggering to think how many words must be spoken in our College each day: amongst students, from teachers, between parents, in classrooms, playgrounds, offices and car parks…words, words, words. Lessons are taught, advice is given, relationships play out, opinions are shared…the list goes on and on. Despite all the technological advances of our generation, words are still the primary tool of a teacher’s trade. Some days I think that all I seem to do is talk (if you know me, no need to smirk when you read that).
It is easy to be blasé about the power of our words when we say so many of them. Remember “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me”? How dumb is that? All of us know that words have the power to really penetrate and affect us.
I am profoundly moved by what the Bible says about words,
“A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth, from the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Prov 18:20-21
Somehow what we say produces fruit that we’ll have to eat and it is up to us, I imagine, to determine if it is going to be bitter or sweet. How heavy is the phrase “death and life are in the power of the tongue”. By our words we can give life to dreams, hopes, relationships and reputations, or we can kill them.
Recently I have been working with Middle School students on the subject of Facebook and trying to make this point. In the course of the lesson they came up with a series of their own rules which I’ll print at the back of this article, they’re pretty good rules and can apply to all of us and a lot more than just Facebook.
The culture of our College is being built by the words that we speak to each other - all of us, without exception. Our challenge is to speak life and realise that that the measure of who we are is not what we think about ourselves but what we say to others. Our words reveal our hearts and have the power to encourage, forgive, restore, build, renew…encouraging isn’t it?
Rules for Facebook Usage (from students)
1. Only say things on Facebook that you would say face to face
2. Ask permission from the person in a photograph before you post or tag a photo
3. No nastiness or swearing
4. No Lying
5. Think before you type – no regrets
6. Only be friends with real life friends
Mr Rod McNeill (College Principal)