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The War of Words

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2024 4:11 am

The War of Words

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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It's not just the words you're using, it's the intent behind the words. I thought you two would have had the maturity to understand something so simple.

No wonder the kids around here are picking up harsh words. Well, that sounds like some good wisdom for all of us to consider. Words are so powerful, and we need to be aware of their impact. Now that clip comes from a radio drama called Adventures in Odyssey, and we'll be hearing a lot more on today's Focus on the Family with Jim Daly.

Thanks for joining us. I'm John Fuller. Think about this, John. God cares a lot about our words. Hebrews 4-12 says the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. Proverbs 18-21 gives this warning, the power of life and death is in the tongue. There are consequences to what we say, I think is the point. Jesus himself is described as the Word of God, the living embodiment of God's love, power, and truth. And I can't think of a better example of how we should live and speak than the example that Jesus himself provided to us. As parents, we need to model how to wisely use our words in ways that encourage, support, and benefit others, because our kids are listening and they are likely to repeat the things we say and mimic the way we communicate with others.

And that's why we're featuring something a little bit different today. Now, for more than 40 years, Focus on the Family has produced a popular radio drama for children called Adventures in Odyssey. That's amazing.

Forty years. That just hit me like, wow. And we've got colleagues who grew up listening to Adventures in Odyssey. That's fun. Now, for those who don't know, Odyssey is a fictional town somewhere in middle America where children and adults learn life lessons about faith and godly character, and they experience a lot of fun and humor along the way. This program is so entertaining, and I'm sure you're going to enjoy it. The episode is called The War of the Words.

And if you'd like to learn more about Adventures in Odyssey and how you can introduce your children or grandchildren to this wonderful content, stop by our website. The details are in the show notes. And now, here's more from today's radio drama on Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. Hey Charles, what's going on? Connie and Eugene have been arguing for about ten minutes. Really?

What about? Eugene won't go to Connie's party, and she says it's because he's boring. You think she'll get him to go?

No, I think she's getting bored of arguing with him. And you need to get out anyway. Have some fun for once. I have my share of fun.

You don't know how. This entire conversation is worthless, as it is quite obvious that the word fun is relative and completely dependent upon one's own definition. Alright then, what do you consider fun? What's the last thing you did just for fun?

This ought to be good. Actually, just last week I recalibrated my barometer to study what the effect would be if the Earth's atmosphere were made up of three percent nitrogen instead of four. And would you believe it, the relative humidity went up.

Five percentage points. What a hoot. I was in stitches all afternoon. What's the last social event you went to? Simple, the physics club, Christmas banquet, an enlightening festivity.

The ornaments were actually held onto the tree by centrifugal force. Have you ever been bowling? Skiing.

How about roller skating? Miss Kendall, this is a rapidly changing world, and some of us do not wish to be left behind due to engaging in unnecessary activities. Are you saying I'm behind the times?

I'm merely saying, socially speaking, your choices have left you somewhat maladroit? What? What did you call me?

Uh oh. What does that mean? What did he call her? I think he called her a maladroit. What's a maladroit?

I don't know, but it sounds terrible. Man, I had no idea the argument was going to get this ugly. No, no, just go on.

Go roller skating or roller skiing or whatever other activities you do to petrify your education. You are such a snob. A snob?

Merely because I wish to maintain a high standard for personal growth rather than waste it with useless activities. Hey, hey you two. At least I don't have my head glued to a text book. Connie, Connie, what's with you two? You've been at each other all morning. Well he's just so infuriating, Win. Uh, uh, uh, enough. I want you two to cut it out. He keeps calling me names I don't understand. Names, Eugene?

This is what you've reduced yourself to, huh? It was not a name per se, but simply a descriptive word. Name, word.

He meant it as an insult. Ms. Kendall, you obviously don't... Hold it now. Listen to yourselves.

I don't care if it's words or compound sentences. You keep using them to cut each other down and I want you to stop it. No more insulting words.

Do you understand? Yes, Mr. Whitaker. Uh huh, good. Now, let's all get back to work.

They got off easy. No kidding. It's a good thing he didn't come in 30 seconds earlier when Eugene called her a malachroid.

Yeah, he would have had a fit. Hey Henry. Hey. Ready for the test?

I think so, but I'm a little fuzzy on the French and Indian war. That is the test, Charles. Oh, then I guess I'm not as ready as I thought. What a malachroid. Henry, are you crazy? Don't say that. Don't worry about it. What if someone hears you?

Then they heard me, so what? Hey, malachroids. Dudley? What? Where did you hear that word? You mean malachroid? Mark Miller called me that in math today. Cool, isn't it? Do you know what it means?

Well, no, but Robert Skeed said in history that he thought the German army was a bunch of malachroids. Said it out loud in front of everyone. The teacher made him stay after class. Told him he shouldn't be using words he didn't understand. It can't be all that bad. I've been using it all day and nobody's slapped me or anything. You've been using this word all day and you don't even know what it means? Lighten up. It's just a word.

How bad could it be? Ah, load program, uh, malachroids 462.7. Enter. Yup, gee! What is it, Miss Kendall? I looked up that word you called a malachroid.

It means inept, unskillful, and or clumsy. Is that what you meant? Indeed, I was merely explaining that because of your elementary level of sophistication... You're doing it again, Eugene. Didn't you listen to anything Whit said yesterday? I am well aware of what Mr. Whitaker said and I assure you that I shall not resort to the shameful name calling that he denounced. I leave that type of incessant bantering to others.

You see, that's it right there. You act like you're not talking about me, but you're really talking about me. You're just hiding it behind your words. I do not hide behind my words, Miss Kendall. If I had something to communicate to you, I would do so directly.

Yeah, like saying I'm inept and or clumsy. You're so... Insulting words? Fine, pal. Look, good friend, you're making this significantly bigger than it has to be. I am not, buddy.

You seem to forget what Whit told us. I have not forgotten, comrade. I simply wish to avoid petty verbal battles. Yeah, well, you and me both, chum.

I got better things to do. I'll see you later. Farewell, my faithful companion. Adios, amigo. Au revoir, mon ami.

Anyway, this kid falls and spills everything on his tray. It's like he wants to be a mallejoite. He's already in the Mallejoite Hall of Fame as far as I'm concerned.

If Odyssey had a museum honoring all the mallejoites in our school, he'd have his own wing. Hello there, boys. Rusty! Hi, Rusty.

What's going on? Just on a little fundraising tour. I thought maybe you guys could help. What kind of fundraising? It's a new charity, the Help Rusty Get a Fudge Bar Foundation. We're 75 cents away from our goal.

Won't you help? I... I...

I only have 35. How about you, Pip Squeak? Oh, come on, Rusty. You don't really expect us just to give you our money, do you? No, actually, I expect to take it from your pocket while you're lying unconscious on the sidewalk.

But I thought I'd make it a little easier on you to begin with. You can't just pick on kids half your size. I'm tired of this. You guys in the balls of wrath think you can get away with anything. You're being a real... a real mallejoite. What was that? Well, I didn't mean it in a bad way. I was just saying that... Yeah? What were you saying?

Here, eat the jeans. Thanks. See you later.

Hey, thanks to you, it works for all of us. So what do you think? You want to find out what that word means? Hey, Henry. Find anything? Nothing. I've looked in every dictionary and encyclopedia in this whole library. The word's not in any of them. How about you?

I say forget it. I'm not using that word until I know what it means. Come on, Charles. It's just a word. Noise is coming out of your mouth. I know. But I'm not using that word until I know what it means. I'm not using that word until I know what it means.

Noise is coming out of your mouth. I know. But I have a feeling that mila... That word means something I shouldn't be saying. Listen to you. You can't even say it when you're talking about it.

Come on, Charles. Say it. Millejoite.

It's okay. Say it for me. Millejoite. M-m-m-m-m-millejoite. Watch my pencil.

You're getting sleepy. Say millejoite. You're the millejoite.

There you go. Hello? By the way, I think you have a millejoite crawling up your back.

You know, I think I saw Superman fight the millejoite in a movie once. Quiet. This is a library. Oh, we're sorry. If you don't quiet down, I'm going to have to ask you to leave.

But we're not really bothering anybody. I want you quiet or out. Yes, sir. Man, what a millejoite. Excuse me. What was that? Um, nothing.

What was that word you just called me? I've heard that around here. What does it mean?

We don't know. Of course you don't. Come here. What? What for? For what?

I'm calling your parents. What? Why? What did we do? Dad, I didn't do anything. So the librarian just kicked you out for no reason.

I guess. He said you called him a name. What was it?

It was nothing. I don't even know what it means. You're using a word and you don't even know what it means?

We tried to find out, but nobody else knows either. What's the word? Millejoite.

Millejoite? I've never heard of it. You see, Dad, the librarian had no right to kick us out. For all he knew, we could have been calling him a handsome and powerful man. But did you mean it like that? Well, no. I didn't think so. Where did you hear this word? Well... Henry, where did you hear it? At Wits End. Okay, then I think maybe your visits to Wits End are over. But Dad!

This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly, and we're listening to a special radio drama produced by Focus called Adventures in Odyssey. Jim, it's pretty obvious that careless words can quickly get out of hand. True confessions, John. I've seen this issue in my own family. And often, I'm the culprit. And I've been known to share a few verbal zingers, and my boys and my wife, Jean, have noticed that occasionally.

And those were not always well received. Well, I've certainly been there myself. Okay, good for us.

That's something I'm continuing to work on, and I think this episode is a great reminder for all of us about speaking more carefully and respectfully with one another, especially being Christians. And let me say this. I really appreciate the creative expertise of our Adventures in Odyssey team. This year, they will complete the 1000th episode of this radio drama, and it's having a huge impact on children and families all around the world. And we want to celebrate that with you. So this August, we're throwing one grand party to celebrate Adventures in Odyssey and our 1000th episode. And we have lots of fun events planned, and it'll be right here on the campus of Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs.

That's right, Jim. And we invite your family to join us for the fun. You can head over to our website for more details about the summer's one grand party event. Tickets are still available, and we'll also invite you to join our Adventures in Odyssey club. For a low monthly fee, you get the entire archive of episodes, along with exclusive videos and website content and faith-based programming that will transform the lives of your children.

Right now, we're offering a free 14-day trial to the Adventures in Odyssey club. And you can learn more when you call 800, the letter A and the word family, 800-232-6459, or stop by the show notes for details. All right, let's get back to our radio drama. Connie and Eugene are having an unusual conversation in the kitchen of Wits End. You know, partner, I just love washing dishes with you. As do I, confrere. Except you missed a couple of spots on this bowl, my dear brother.

My deepest apologies, all spotless ones. Oh, I need your help with something. Just got a call from Henry's father. Apparently, Charles and Henry got in trouble for using a bad word, and Henry told his father they learned the word here.

At Wits End? Nobody uses bad words around here. Well, the strange part about it is that I've never even heard of the word. Millijoint, he said.

Millijoint? I don't recall any such word. Well, I don't think it is a word. Perhaps they heard the term as a result of my friend, Ms. Kendall's misuse of the English language. Or perhaps they wanted to imitate dearest Eugene and make up a word of their own.

Perhaps they wished to describe kind-hearted Ms. Kendall and couldn't think of another word for... Hold it, wait, wait just a minute. What are you two doing? Friend? Dearest? I've never heard those words used so abusively.

What are you doing? Well? We were just trying not to use insulting words, like you said. Oh, come on. You know better than that.

Or do you? Well... Well? Well, perhaps you should elucidate. It's not just the words you're using, it's the intent behind the words. I thought you two would have had the maturity to understand something so simple.

No wonder the kids around here are picking up harsh words. That's probably why Henry and Charles got the idea that... That the... Henry and Charles. Mr. Whitaker? Oh, thanks for coming, Charles. Hi, Connie. Hi, Eugene. Greetings, Charles. Hi, Charles. What's going on?

Do you know if Henry's coming? His dad won't let him. He thinks Woods End has a bad influence on him. Oh.

What's this all about? Well, I need you to help me figure out where you first heard that word. Milledroid? I heard Eugene say it. He called Connie a milledroid. What? Mr. Whitaker, I assure you I've never used such a word in my life. When did you hear Eugene say this, Charles?

The other day. Connie, Eugene, I'd like you two to do something for me. I want you to have the same argument you had in front of Henry and Charles the other day. Well, um, Eugene told me he wasn't going to my party.

Basing my decision on logic and probability. And he made up these excuses when it was obvious he just didn't want to go. A completely unsubstantiated assertion. So I tried to give him some constructive criticism. You know, help him be a normal human being. Not realizing that I have no desire to be a normal human being. And then he said I was maladroid, but I didn't know what that was. So I... Now hold it. What did Eugene call you?

Maladroid. Charles, is that what you heard? Maybe. Ah, I think we have our word. And Connie and Eugene, I think some apologies are in order.

First to each other, then to the kids. Wouldn't you agree? Yeah. As usual, you are correct, Mr. Whitaker.

Meanwhile, I'll go over to the Thomases and see if I can salvage our reputation. Uh, Mr. Thomas? Yes. Hello, Mr. Whitaker. Uh, is Henry here?

Yes, he's upstairs on restriction. Well, I came to talk to you anyway. Would you like to come in? No, thank you. This will take only a minute.

I just wanted to come by and apologize for what happened. It's all a simple misunderstanding. Henry heard the word maladroid from one of my employees and got it turned around.

Miladroid doesn't mean anything. I know, but what I don't know is why my son would think it was an insult. Well, he heard it in an argument. You see, Connie and Eugene argue sometimes, and Eugene uses words most people don't understand. I see. Well, you know, Mr. Whitaker, it doesn't matter what the word means. My concern is that until Henry started hanging around Whit's end, he didn't speak disrespectfully toward anyone, especially to people in authority.

But I guess when he sees people in authority talking that way themselves, well, maybe he thinks it's okay. Well, I understand. I'm just not sure I like Henry hanging around at a place where words are used as weapons.

Well, I don't know what to say, except I'm sorry, and you can be sure this is something we're going to work on. Well, thank you for coming by, Mr. Whitaker. Hey, Charles. Hey, Henry. So how long did you ground it for? A week.

Wow. You get anything? My dad's making me do an essay. An essay?

I have to write a 500-word essay on the dangers of bad language. Really? Have you started?

Yeah, I just finished. How's this? The Dangers of Words by Charles Edward Thompson. Words can be very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very dangerous. Let me quote from James 3, the chapter after 1 and 2, where the Bible talks about controlling the tongue.

See, then here I copied down the whole chapter. As you can see, words can be very dangerous. The end. Think he'll go for it? No.

I need more berries, don't I? No. You didn't write that.

You just copied it. Then what am I going to write about? How about what happened? Oh, yeah.

Okay. Hey, guys. Hey, Dudley. Did you hear about Roger Taylor? He called a lunch lady a melon joint and got in huge trouble. Has cafeteria cleanup duty for the next month.

A whole month? Yeah. Man, that word's gotten so many people in trouble lately. I'm not going to say it anymore.

Us either. So what are you guys doing? Charles has to write an essay for his dad. Your dad? What about? The dangers of bad language.

Really? Did you say something in front of him? What was it? Never mind.

He said something in front of his dad. What a Yelnik. A what? Yelnik. I just heard that one today. Cool, huh? Let's get out of here, Henry. Right behind you, Charles.

Hey, wait, that doesn't mean anything bad. And that's how we concluded our Adventures in Odyssey episode, The War of the Words, produced by our own very creative team here at Focus on the Family. As we've already explained, Adventures in Odyssey is a radio drama that provides a lot of fun and humor and faith-based lessons that children will probably never forget. And today's lesson about the power of words was no exception. Jim, I'm reminded of what Jesus said in Matthew 12. On the day of judgment, people will give an account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. That is such a sobering thought.

Oh, it is, John. And as we've been listening to this episode today, I've been thinking about kind of an opposite problem that I've observed in the Christian community. It's not so much that we're careless with our words, we're silent. Christians are afraid to speak up about what we believe. We're kind of shamed into just keeping it to ourselves.

And I get it. We live in a cancel culture today where everybody wants to shut you down if you dare say something, contrary to the approved narrative of the society. Christians are being marginalized more than ever before, and the opposition wants to twist our words against us.

Tragically, I think it's working. Far too many Christians are passive and hesitate to engage with the critical issues in our culture today. I want to challenge that mindset for a moment. We need to be bold and more willing to speak the truth, God's truth, to those who disagree with us. Our words are a witness, and we're commanded by Jesus to be salt and light in a world that's rotting away in darkness. And of course, we always have to do this in the context of the fruit of the Spirit, love and joy and peace. We're not trying to win, we're just trying to express our viewpoint as believers.

Yeah, you're talking and have spoken so much about this, Jim. We have to be balanced here. We have to speak God's truth in love. If we're harsh and insulting and arrogant, our words don't really mean much. We need to be both truthful and loving to help point people to Christ. That's exactly right, Jon.

But let's not be passive. Let's speak up and plant seeds and trust that God will provide opportunities for us to win the hearts of those who oppose us. And even if they disagree, at least they'll hear God's truth in what we say.

Which brings us right back to our radio drama. Adventures in Odyssey, which is helping so many families grow in their faith. We received this note from a father named Dave, who said, as my wife and I reflect on how well our children have grown up, we cannot dismiss their contribution and impact that Adventures in Odyssey has had on their lives. We're so thankful. You taught things we were not capable of teaching. Well done. Ah, that's amazing, Jon.

I remember flying into D.C. Boy, did I have an attitude. Lord, I don't want to be here. I don't like this town.

It's a power hungry town. All the stuff running through my mind. We had an appointment at the State Department with Secretary of State Pompeo. So I'm in the lobby and one of his assistants comes out to greet us.

She's probably like 28, I don't know, but late 20s. And she came up and she said to me, Mr. Daley, thank you so much for Adventures in Odyssey. I grew up listening to it.

There's a handful of us here at State Department who listen to it at lunch. I was like, OK, Lord, I get it. I understand. It's like, you know, I've got my people everywhere, Jim.

Don't worry. That's great. But it brings tears to my eyes thinking about how God has used this ministry to bring hope to families.

That's why focus is here. That's our mission. And we invite you to partner with us so that working together, we can strengthen more marriages, equip more parents, save preborn babies, help their mothers, and introduce people to God's love.

That's quite a task. But man, how great to walk in every day doing this. One way you can do that is by joining our Adventures in Odyssey club, where you get access to great content like we've heard today, a thousand episodes of Adventures in Odyssey, along with daily devotions, fun videos, faith building activities for your children, and so much more. And club membership provides you with unlimited on-demand streaming access, as you said, Jim, to all thousand episodes of Adventures in Odyssey.

It's all available for a low monthly fee. And right now, we're offering a free 14-day trial of the club. It's a great opportunity, and I'll encourage you to sign up today.

You can do so when you call 800, the letter A in the word family, 800-232-6459, or stop by the show notes for all the details. And don't forget, we're celebrating 1,000 episodes of Adventures in Odyssey with a one grand party. And this event will be here in Colorado Springs on the campus at Focus on the Family. We're hosting live shows and bringing the town of Odyssey to life in an immersive experience here on the campus. We hope you'll come and see us in August. We can't wait to celebrate with you and your family. And once again, the details are in the show notes. Thanks for listening to Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. I'm John Fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-19 07:34:47 / 2024-04-19 07:47:05 / 12

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