Then there are others who talk like you and I, but have such a limited vocabulary they like to either invent words or hyphenate them so they can demonstrate to those listening just how intelligent they really are.
Though I’ve got to hand it to this one guy I knew. Years ago, while serving in our country’s military, this MP I knew used to learn at least one new word each day. He carried a pocket dictionary with him everywhere he went. He would read it while on guard duty at night, and when I would see him the next morning he’d use his new word in a sentence for me. I bet he learned hundreds of words.
One day I asked him why was he learning so many words? What was his motivation?
He explained that he was tired of belittling and cussing out people using the same old, worn out phrases. He wanted something that sounded more fresh and sophisticated.
He wanted people to think he was intelligent.
So what about your language? Do you have an accent? Does your speech betray you (as someone said to Peter one cold and lonely night)?
Maybe you’re not swearing much, or perhaps not at all. But your speech still betrays you, because you sound as though God is a million miles away, and you can’t win for losing.
How can a person change their vocabulary? After all, James says that no man can tame the tongue.
“And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water.” (James 3:6-11 ESV)
So what can a person do, if they really want to change the way they talk?
Here are some suggestions:
How To Change Your Vocabulary
1. Work on changing your heart. The heart is like a reservoir; it gives out what’s been put in. That’s one reason Jesus told us we must be born again.
2. Find ways to bless God and others. Instead of grumbling to everyone at work, find something, even a little something, to be thankful for.
3. Like my army friend, learn a new word each day. But rather than learning words which tear others down, learn ones which will edify yourself and others. Plus, it will get people wondering what you’re up to.
4. Practice speaking the scriptures as you drive to work, work on the car, or watch a football game (during the commercials, of course). Besides, faith comes from hearing, and hearing, and hearing…(Romans 10:17)
5. Ask a close friend to help you. Sometimes you may not realize what you’re saying, so a friend’s ears could help.
6. Listen to the Word of God as you fall asleep each night. Feed your spirit man. God neither slumbers nor sleeps; neither does your spirit man.
7. Don’t stop just because you may slip up now and then. Keep at it! God’s forgiveness works well with His grace.
8. Think on good and wholesome things. For the way to control your tongue is to reprogram your heart and mind.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8 ESV)
“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:2 – 3:3 ESV)
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:9-11 ESV)
Your vocabulary will change, when you change.
Try it. Let me know how it works.