Earlier this week a friend of mine dropped the ball on something he had committed to. Honestly it wasn’t that big of a deal. It was more of an inconvenience for him than anything else but it became of big deal because of the words that he started speaking about himself. For whatever reason, he started saying things like “I can’t believe I dropped the ball. Now people won’t trust me. I am a failure in this area.”
Although these things are not true, these words began to impact my friend. He became insecure and withdrawn over something that was a setback but overall pretty minor.
My friends words got me thinking about the power of words.
I don’t know if you’ve thought about this lately, but words are incredibly powerful. They encourage, challenge, crush and convict. They inspire, instigate and instruct. They shape countries and cultures. They can melt your heart and make you mad. Words can bring peace or create controversies. They can direct, delight and destroy.
The power of speech is one of the greatest powers God has given . And as Peter Parker taught us with great power comes great responsibility. I guess what I’m trying to say is being wise with our words isn’t just a good idea. It is mission critical. It matters for the health of our world and the health of our souls.
So how do we become wise with our words? I think this happens as we remember the gospel. Let me explain.
The gospel tells us the story of a God who uses words to create life and speak blessing over his creation. Additionally, the gospel tells us we have been made in God’s image. This means we are created to use our words like God uses his words. The implication is simple and profound. Our words about ourselves and other people should create life and leave blessing. We know this to be true because when we use words as God intents, we feel full and free. Life springs up everywhere. The people around us are encouraged.
Sadly sin has impacted our words. This means our words often crush and condemn. We know this to be true because when words are used poorly, we feel down and discouraged. My friend is a pretty good example of what happens when sin impacts the words we speak about ourselves and others.
But the gospel tells us we can change. It tells us the story of a God who came not only to die for our sins, but also a God who overcame death to empower us to speak words of life.
When we pull this all together we see that trusting Jesus means we can begin to control our tongue. We really can say no to our cynicism. We can say no to our words of cursing and condemnation. We can put to death our words of judgement and shame. And most importantly, we can beginning speaking words of blessing over God’s good creation again.
In closing let me give you thirteen words that can transform your life if you start speaking them regularly.
Please and thank you. When we uses these three words, we treat people like people and not things to use.
I am sorry. These three words have a way of breaking down walls and restoring relationships.
I love you. These three words have the power to pull people towards you.
I believe in you. These four word have the power to inspire and encourage people to press on to great things in their lives.