Luke chapter 18 verses 9-14 - The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector - see these verses in full at the end of this 'Comment' article. They are pertinent.
Words and their Power
As I progress in my career I have been increasingly become aware that effect that reputation has in science, and in success. In small communities such as science bad reputations spread fast, personal dislikes are often obvious, and political games are played. Science is a career in which intellectual theft may happen in an instant, and careers destroyed by other's selfish ambition.
It is a small world in which words can have profound impacts – and your words whether or not you would like them will travel around. It is a profession in which we are constantly tasked with professionally judging and reviewing each other.
In my career, words are powerful tools that can be used to uplift or denigrate. They can be worthless or priceless. In Luke 18, we see the two extremes – the worthless denigrating words of the Pharisee, and the uplifting and priceless words of the tax collector.
Your Word as a Contract
Words are often the primary method of establishing relationships, and communicating our character. If the Bible has shown us anything, it is that the promises, the Word, of God does not diminish with time. Neither God nor Jesus wasted words – but pierced to the heart of the matter and to us. The Bible's words are an unconditional and permanent promise.
I believe that we should view all our words as a sincere contract with who we communicate. Like a contract we should not use frivolous, or use empty words. No should we use words which we do not mean. When we waste words we risk being misunderstood, or deliberately deceiving. When politicians communicate with us we (or should) expect them to uphold their word. Shouldn't we hold ourselves to the same standards?
Your Word as Your Intention
Ultimately we may not be able to fulfil our word, but our words are our way to signal our clearest intention and efforts. As a Christian I am not judged on the fulfilling of my word – but by my intentions to establish and maintain a relationship with Christ.
Viewing your word as a contract means that we hold ourselves to a standard that others may not. However, viewing your words as a contract indicates something very important – that at all costs you will value your relationship above all else.
Luke chapter 18 verses 9-14
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
14 "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
Nathanael Yates is a Neuroscience Researcher from Perth, Western Australia. He is constantly inspired by his astonishingly wise and beautiful wife and his adorable daughter.
Nathanael Yates' previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/nathanael-yates.html