Most people in today’s society are at least passively aware of the word cloud. Word clouds are groups of words that are lumped together in a “cloud” with varying sizes for the words depending on the level of mention and discussion of the word or topic. The more it is discussed, the bigger the word appears in the cloud; the bigger the word, the greater the perceived importance, or at the very least a greater level of interest in that topic is perceived.
Therefore, the word cloud cannot track the thoughts of an individual, but it can track the value of certain things to someone based upon that about which they talk or write most frequently. If one were to track the Christian by means of a word cloud, what would be found? How would we be presented to the world when it comes to what is most important, influential, and valuable to our lives? Jesus said the things that proceed from the mouth show the heart of an individual (Mat. 15:16-20). We often apply that statement to filthy language, but it also means that the things we say are telling about what we find most important in our heart.
So, it is time for a little self-check: what would your word cloud say about you? This time of year is one of the most exciting for me because I am a big college basketball fan. For the next three weeks millions of people will spend hours talking about all of the different things happening in the tournament and the way their brackets were destroyed after the first day. But are these things the most important? Should they be the major communication from my mouth as a Christian? Would my word cloud show more references to my favorite basketball team than my God, the Bible, or prayer? It should not be so. Would your word cloud show greater pleasure in speaking of your favorite movies, music, and books; or of your greatest blessings, prayers, and encouragements?
Paul wrote, “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Col. 4:6). The things we say are to always be “with grace.” The Greek preposition would be better translated in grace, meaning in joy, pleasure, beauty, favor, and sweetness. The words that we speak are to be dipped in beauty and covered in love for one another, not burned with bitterness and coarsened with anger. Our words are also to be “seasoned with salt,” they are to be fresh and lively, preserving truth and centering on what is valuable and important in life. You see, for the Christian, words are the greatest tool that can be utilized in life. They can deliver the message of freedom, repel the influence of evil, strengthen the heart of the weak, and create an environment of peace and tranquility; but only if they are used correctly and effectively. Our words tell people what is most important to us, the things about which we think, and the bases from which we make our decisions.
Take some time and examine your words; make your own mental word cloud of the things you say, what does your speech say about you? What is more influential in your speech: the entertainment industry or God? The Bible or the news? Prayer or gossip? Encouragement or disparagement? Love or anger? Hope or despair? Only you and God truly know the answer; but if the answer is not what it should be, it’s time to change your word cloud.