The front page of a recent national newspaper contained only six words, but they spoke volumes - “Words are powerful. Choose them well.” Twenty-two journalists, employed by the newspaper in different aspects of journalism, wrote of choosing their words extremely carefully so that they would have the greatest impact on their readers or hearers. Their job included selling their ideas and opinions to the public, and convincing them of their worth.
Words seem to be a most powerful force available to us; undoubtedly our spoken and written words can be a significant force for good or evil. Jesus warned that what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, ‘For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks’ (Matthew 12:34). What a lot of weight is carried by reckless words, spoken in the heat of the moment. Sadly, they can never be recovered. Words have power to create or destroy, break hearts or heal, build up or pull down, encourage or dishearten, to bless or to curse.
The Bible makes a very clear statement about the careless use of the tongue, ‘Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it breaks out in curses against those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right’ (James 3:9-10 NLT). We bless others when we speak positive words of hope, encouragement love, assurance and acceptance. We curse others when we speak negative words causing hopelessness, despair, unworthiness or rejection to or about them. ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue,’ (Proverbs 18:21), because both blessings and curses carry supernatural spiritual power. How reassuring it is to know that the blessing of God is more powerful than a human curse.
Words which bring a curse also include negative, belittling words people speak over or about themselves without realising that they are speaking the language of the devil, the father of lies. All negative and demeaning words need to be revoked, because they can be life-controlling, affecting both identity and destiny.
God’s words, recorded in His Word are amazing. In fact everything that exists came about by words. The universe was created with a word. God spoke and all things came into being. ‘God said and it was so’. Each of us is made in the image of God, and He has given us the capacity to speak good, creative words. We have the power of words, and what we speak is not without significance. Jesus is our example, ‘All spoke well of Him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from His lips’ (Luke 4:22).
Prayer: Father, thank You for the gift of words. Please forgive me for any negative words I have spoken about myself or about others, and, by the blood of Jesus, cleanse my heart from the sin which is their source. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer, so that my words honour You and bring blessing to others. Amen.
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