When Are Words “Just Words?”

When are words, “just words?”  From yesterday’s post you will assume my answer is, never. But, oh contraire.  There’s another side to the story…there usually is.  Words are, in fact, “just words” when they are “empty words.”  Words are void of significance when they are not backed up with actions.

In fact…

Saying words is the easy part.  Embodying those words…demonstrating those words…living out those words….that’s the hard part!

Some examples:

  • I perform quite a lot of weddings each year.  One of the statements I make in describing the significance of the “ring ceremony,” is the fact that Love Covenant Law says, “The vows spoken are not ratified until there is a gift of value given.” This symbolizes that words, by themselves, are potentially empty, and the gift of value (giving of rings) is demonstrating that the couple is symbolically putting weight behind their words.
  • My church just finished putting our Core Values into descriptive statements that communicate well to the reader.  Core Value #3 states that we are, “Building Community Within a Culture of Honor.” – In other words Core Value #3 is  “We Practice Relationships Over Issues.”

It’s easy to craft those words (well maybe not so easy – it took hours to put the 5 value statements together): But now the part that is as easy as nailing jello to a tree on a hot dayEmbodying those words practically in each of our livesYou see if…

  • “I” don’t live those words out in demonstration personally as the Senior Leader
  • “We” don’t put flesh and blood on those words as a Leadership Team
  • Ultimately “the Sanctuary” doesn’t embrace those words with the practical commitment of accompanying action


The carefully crafted words are nothing but, “empty boxes” filled with hot sterile air….or not so sterile….potentially toxic.

So…yep…Words can be “just words.” It’s words that are pictured by a practical visual demonstration that are powerful.


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