The Right Word

We live in a world of technology where opinions/ideals/views etc are shared at the drop of a hat, click of a send button and can have some damaging effects. Can opinions change? Can view point’s change? YES! And often as we gain wisdom and experience in life, they do. So, why even share them at all?

~opinion~ |əˈpinyən| noun a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge • the beliefs or views of a large number or majority of people about a particular thing • ( opinion of) an estimation of the quality or worth of someone or something • a formal statement of advice by an expert on a professional matter

*When you give your opinion on something, you offer a conclusion or a judgment that, although it may be open to question, seems true or probable to you at the time (she was known for her strong opinions on women in the workplace).

*A view is an opinion that is affected by your personal feelings or biases (his views on life were essentially optimistic), while a sentiment is a more or less settled opinion that may still be colored by emotion (her sentiments on aging were shared by many other women approaching fifty).

*A belief differs from an opinion or a view in that it is not necessarily the creation of the person who holds it; the emphasis here is on the mental acceptance of an idea, a proposition, or a doctrine and on the assurance of its truth (religious beliefs; his belief in the power of the body to heal itself).

*A conviction is a firmly held and unshakable belief whose truth is not doubted (she could not be swayed in her convictions), while a persuasion (in this sense) is a strong belief that is unshakable because you want to believe that it’s true rather than because there is evidence proving it so (she was of the persuasion that he was innocent). Words are a powerful thing.


The ancient texts say that the tongue is the hardest part of the body to control. The heart controls the tongue, for “as water reflects your face, so a man’s heart reflects a man.” So even when we don’t say a word, our heart exposes us.  I’m not sure yet, but my hunch is that Christ was not opinionated, rather convicted. So that the words that come out of his mouth were pure and for building one another up in love or for tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God. To be like Christ is to be made new, put off the old. The old for me is the idea that being an opinionated person is some sort of badge of honor.

Lady JaneIn my life, taking pride in my opinionated persona has not only turned others away from me but also left me isolated and alone. For each opinion I put out lays a brick around my feet. Building higher and higher until I am surrounded, like a rock, like an island. I often say, “don’t put me in a box,” and yet, every time I spout off an opinion or a view, I put myself in a box.

In 2008 I was convicted about my words/opinions and decided to go on a 6 month fast from speaking. My speech was limited to directives, encouraging words, and basic conversation. I used the time to explore and examine my heart (soul) condition. It was really hard work but quieting my heart and tongue helped me weed through my words and showed me how to speak/act only out of belief/conviction rather than opinion/view. Through the process, which was happening despite my fortitude or good intentions, I was freed from the prison wall of bricks I had laid over the years and a seed of wisdom was placed on my tongue. I found that releasing my words required a measure of faith in a Creator that is faithful and most of all Just. It also required a willingness to lay down my pride and allow others who have not yet experience this sort of freedom a healthy dose of Grace.

Here we are six years later and I am reminded daily that my words can either tear down or build up. I am reminded daily that what comes out of my mouth exposes my heart, showcasing my truest intentions, testimony and hypocrisies.

And this is my hope. “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; Is. 55:10-13

I am reminded that this is an ongoing life long process, as one of my first songs, written in 2002 “Shhh” foreshadows this amazing journey.

My voice is so loud in my head I cannot hear the one who speaks * I walk away frustrated Broken and displaced * I want to learn to walk someday * But it’s so much easier to crawl * I hate how I’m numb sometimes * Or wallowed up in my pride * Self indulgences, introspection * How can I see the God in me If I’m only looking in? * For I have nothing new to say * I’m not unique * This struggle to communicate * Has left me incomplete * Teach me to hear * Your still small voice.


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Jana Holland

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