THE POWER OF WORDS
”The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Do you remember Steven Wright the
comedian? He had some interesting things to say about language. For
example: “If a word were misspelled in the Dictionary, how would you know?” or
“What’s another word for Thesaurus?” God has some interesting things to
say about our words as well. For example, Prov. 18:21 says: “The
tongue has the power of life and death.” Now, I realize that isn’t as
funny as Steven’s quips, but it is a lot more important.
I believe that our words do two very important things:
1. They reveal our true character.
greatly affect the welfare of those around us.
Jesus said: “Out of the overflow of the
heart the mouth speaks.” Here is what that means . . . If our
heart is filled with self and is motivated by the desires of the flesh then it
is from that well that our tongue draws its words. On the other hand;
helpful words, nurturing words, faith-building words, Words of Wisdom and Words
of Knowledge come from a tongue that is yielded to the Holy Spirit – our
Counselor and Helper.
We all know the schoolyard saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” We also know that it isn't true. But do words really have the power of life and death? The writer of Hebrews calls the Word of God a “sharp two-edged sword.” God’s Word is like the surgeon’s scalpel that cuts to heal, or the pruner’s shears that remove what hinders in order to increase growth and fruitfulness. The truth is that our words can cut like a knife as well. They can cut to the heart and bring pain to the soul. I haven’t really sustained much “stick and stone” damage in my life. The fact is though, most, if not all of us, bear scars from wounds that came only through the sharp words of others. But, if we belong to Christ, we know that healing and hope can come through words as well.
Here are some suggestions that may help you be a healer’s scalpel to those around you:
1. Put God’s Word into your mind and heart –Every computer user knows, “garbage in, garbage out.” It is pretty much the same with us; if we want godly words - words of faith and hope and encouragement - to come out, we have to put godly words in!
2. Make worship a priority – perhaps if we get our tongues more used to praising God they will be less likely to curse men!
3. Spent time with other believers –The Proverbs remind us that “iron sharpens iron.” Christians benefit greatly by interacting with people who, like them, are trying to live Christ-honoring lives.
4. Pray – When we do, we speak words of faith, acknowledge His Lordship, seek His guidance, ask for His help. It's good practice!
5. Tell others about God’s grace and power. Be quick to acknowledge Christ in your everyday conversations. Look for opportunities to speak words of life and hope.
--- Pastor Keith Andrews