The Power Of Words

Imagine someone saying these things to you. Take a moment after reading each to imagine how it would make you feel:

"That was very thoughtful of you."

"What were you thinking?"

"Don't play with that. Don't speak that way to me. Stop whining. Why are you always into trouble?"

"Thanks for the help."

:::whispering about you::: "Look at her hair!"

"Why can't you be more like your sister?"

"Well done, good and faithful servant."

Words are powerful. God used them to create the universe. And God said, "Let there be light, " and there was light. (Genesis 1:3) Imagine...just like that. Jesus used them to calm the sea. "Quiet! Be still!" (Mark 4:39) Words can make someone feel special. Valued. Loved. Words can sting. Hurt. Scar.

There are many, many Biblical references to the words we speak. I chose a few from Proverbs to share:

With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape (11:9).

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing (12:18).

The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit (15:4).

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones (16:24).

A worthless man digs up evil, his words are as a scorching fire. A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends (16:27-28).

From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things, but the unfaithful have a craving for violence. He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin (13:2-3).


"But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken" (Matthew 12:36). That's serious stuff.

I have been thinking about this much lately. Words don't cost us anything to use, so we seem to spew them out without much thought or regard to others. We don't even have to say things with the intent to hurt; sometimes it just works out that way.

Think about your life...

Today, yesterday, last week, last year. How have you spoken to people or about people? Would your words have made them feel valued or hurt? During your life have you generally used kind, loving words or harsh, hurtful ones? How do you speak to your spouse? Your children? Do you speak kinder to a stranger or an aquaintance than to your family? When your children listen to you talk to or about others, what do they hear?

We need to be vigilant in thinking before we speak. Hurtful words cannot be taken back and they can linger, often for a lifetime. There are snippets of conversations I've had with people that are firmly implanted in my memory. Some of the things they've said are heartwarming. Some are heartbreaking. They weren't necessarily heavy conversations. Sometimes just a comment in passing. I don't know why I remember them....but I do. And chances are they don't. Chances are I've said hurtful things to people that they clearly remember...but I don't. Chances are I've said heartwarming things to people that they clearly remember...but I don't.

My prayer..."Lord, please help my words to be kind, tender, encouraging, fun, sensitive. Please help my words to show love, Your love shining through me. Amen."


Me said...

"Don't play with that. Don't speak that way to me. Stop whining."

Very, guilty Mama here.

However, I am reasonably good at thanking them for the things they do and they seem to appreciate.

Reminding myself to think more before I speak.

Renata said...

Thankyou Amy - I was really challenged by this post with how I speak to my children. I really needed this reminder.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

This was very thought provoking; I'll pay closer attention.
Thank you.

Jenn said...

Wonderful thoughts that we all need to focus on daily.

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog!