John Ed Mathison

May I have a word with you?

By Dr. John Ed Mathisonjohn ed
Executive Director
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries

­­­ What’s Your WQ – Word Quotient?

Words are the tools we use to communicate.  New words are recognized each year by the Oxford Dictionaries.  Some words are old.  Some words change.  Some words have different meanings in different languages.

English has produced a lot of words that are difficult to explain.  For example, there’s no egg in eggplant; nor ham in hamburger; nor apple or pine in pineapple.  English muffins were not invented in England; nor French fries in France.  We speak about quicksand, but it works slowly.  Boxing rings are square; a Guinea Pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig!

You have to understand the meaning of words to know what they are communicating.  In English we drive on our parkways and park on our driveways.  People recite in a play and play in a recital.  We talk about shipping by truck and sending cargo by ship.  We have noses that run and feet that smell.  We talk about someone having a slim chance or a fat change, but they both mean the same.

Words can be extremely confusing.  The New Oxford Dictionary has included some new words for 2017.  One new word is “haterade.”  It is a noun, and it means excessive negativity, criticism or resentment.  Our world is already loaded with haterade.  Take that word out of your vocabulary!

Another new word is “fitspiration.”  It is a noun and refers to a person or thing that serves as motivation for someone to sustain or improve health and fitness.  We need a lot of fitspiration, especially in the spiritual realm.  Add that word to your vocabulary!

 “Yas!” is a wonderful new word this year.   It is an exclamation that expresses great pleasure or excitement.  Living life in God’s purpose everyday will prompt you to exclaim “YAS!” really often!

Some words are not new, but they have a tremendous impact.  The best way to build a good life is with already existing words like love, forgiveness, faith, trust, truth, hope.  These are old words but they can give new meaning to life!

The Bible teaches us that words are powerful.  Words can either build or destroy.  We are reminded that “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me,” but that is a falsehood.  “Haterade” words can be extremely harmful or damaging to people.  The best words ever to receive and give are “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).  Words carry power when we hear “I believe in you.”  Powerful words are when you hear someone say, “I love you.”  One of the great words is God’s promise that He has plans for you.  Read Jeremiah 29:11-13.

Allow me to rank some very important words:

The 6 most important words – “I’m sorry, I made a mistake.”
The 5 most important words – “I am proud of you.”
The 4 most important words – “What do you think?”
The 3 most important words – “I can understand.”
The 2 most important words – “Thank you.”
The 1 most important word  – “We.”
The least important word  – “I.”

We have to choose our words carefully.  It’s a terrible thing to speak wrong words when we should have remained silent.  You can’t take back words.  You cannot un-ring a bell.  “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Eph. 4:29).

What’s your WQ – Word Quotient?

John Ed’s blog posts appear in For His Glory each week.

Contact: JAM Executive Suite 4,4131 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106 Phone: 334-270-2149

Listen to John Ed Mathison's one-minute daily devotional on Facebook. and click “PLAY" on the audio YouTube in order to listen.  Or you can go to his ministry page at

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