The power of your words

October 4, 2013

In my first post for the ERLC.com website, I wrote about the power of words:

Imagine a resource with endless supply that can be leveraged for unbelievable good or incomprehensible evil and distributed instantly through global networks.

What is this resource? It is the simple commodity of words.

We were told as children that words could not hurt us, but that is not true. Words have power.

The universe was created by the word of God (Heb. 11:3). God used words to instruct the children of Israel, literally writing with His hand on tablets of stone (Exod. 31:18). It is through the Scriptures—written words inspired by God, chronicled by man—that we learn of God and find faith (John 5:39; Rom. 10:17).

Jesus, the gospel writer John says, is the living word of God (John 1:1, 14). As a man he was sustained by the very power of God’s Word (Matt. 4:4). As God incarnate, His last words on the cross, “It is finished,” satisfied the wrath of God and secured the faith of those who believe (John 19:30).

The wise Solomon wrote that “death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Prov. 18:21). James, the brother of Jesus, said “from the same mouth come blessing and cursing” (James 3:10).

Words lit the fire of the Reformation and inspired the American Revolution. Words have sent people to the death chamber and stayed the hand of execution. Words have begun wars and ended wars.

Words can be instruments of healing or as destructive as “sword thrusts” (Prov. 12:18). Most of us have been both inspired and wounded by them. Words of Scripture. A speech. A sermon. Song lyrics. Lines from movies. A teacher’s encouraging remark. A loved one’s angry outburst. A friend’s sincere compliment. A rebellious teen’s nasty text.

Words hold weight. We know this. So, as people of a Book (the Bible), as followers of the Word (Jesus), as children of a God who speaks, how then shall we think about our words?

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