Enthused responses are not always the best informed, and people cannot, should not count on the person actually doing what they are saying at the moment. Everyone knows that words said in the heat of the moment often do not reflect one’s true values and priorities. It is as if we engage our mouths without passing or dwelling on a single thought between the ears. The sounds are recognizable as words however they should carry a warning sign with them that disconnects them from the source we think they came from.
The situations in which we live to regret our words are many; usually they involved intense emotions. Shock, anger, passion, belief, and competition all draw out the extreme rhetoric within. If you have any doubt listen the quotes, winners and losers, after a very intense game. If you are still wondering listen to the words used by two people on the political trail for a single seat. If there is still questions; reflect on your words during some of your more memorable past. How much of it reflected the intensity of the moment?
The challenge is, at least for a brief instant, we believe what we say! In that instant we are absolutely, completely, without a single doubt, convinced that the words we are saying reflect our true intent, motive, and soul. When we see it in others we recognize just how little he or she knows when they are talking. Even in centuries old the lines are clear. When “the woman said, ‘Sir, give me this water so I won't ever get thirsty, won't ever have to come back to this well again!’” (John 4.15) You and I know that she is well into the imagination zone. We know this yet there are some, myself included, who see enough of ourselves in the picture that we tend to forgive.
Words can make the difference between living and dying, loving and hating, compassion and justice. We can change the world with our words. Will we? Do we really believe? Today is the measure.