Sharp Words



About a week ago I had the following dream. I was standing in a field with a man next to me. He attached a tape measure to me and marked off some distance as if measuring something. A short distance away, I saw another man with a long knife. He was flashing the knife around his body showing great skill in handling the knife. Suddenly, the man with the knife ran straight at me and stuck the knife in me right under the heart. Strangely, there was no pain at all and no blood. In the dream I thought, "Something is being excised." That was the end of the dream.

A few days later I was reading Proverbs and this verse seemed to speak to the meaning of the dream.

There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. (Prov. 12:18)

In a Hebrew-English Tanakh that I have, this verse is translated as:

There is blunt talk like sword-thrusts, But the speech of the wise is healing.

What this verse says to me is that there are two types of words, both of which can cut. First there are the harsh, blunt words that are designed to destroy. They are like a sword that hacks and maims and kills. In contrast to that are wise words that are intended to heal. The scalpel of the surgeon makes a precise cut and corrects the disease so that the body will be healed. I think it's a beautiful contrast. Blunt words that destroy, but sharp words that heal. And, we always have to remember the difference.

This is the interpretation I give to my dream. Before we speak, we must first carefully measure our words. Then, when we speak, the words we use need to be precise so that we only excise what needs to be removed and only for the purpose of healing. This is what I mean by "sharp words."




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