The Power of Words
Have you noticed how the power of words can influence and even control us? Words are so powerful that they can change the situations in which we find ourselves, either for the better or worse. None of us is perfect; and so, there are times when we all wear our emotions on our sleeves for the whole world to see. Often, we take things beyond our emotions and let our words broadcast what we are feeling. This is good when the emotions are positive and our words gently bless those who hear them. However, when our words become instruments of hurt and destruction (both to the hearer and to us as we speak them), they become weapons that damage every one of us. They become weapons, and there is always a price to pay. This is especially important when we find ourselves in a culture that is new to us; and, we do not yet have an understanding of its norms and customs, as they are reflected in their words.
It is obvious to me that praying, “Holy Spirit, help me to guard what I say” is always a worthwhile prayer. The Holy Spirit will hear and answer. He will bring His intervention in the form of wisdom and direction. Then, when we are tempted by the desire to speak ignorant or negative and hurtful words as an emotional response, we will have the Holy Spirit’s help to avoid doing so. We will be able to go from the vulnerability of a carnally minded outburst to the protection and success of spiritually measured and guided words. We will be walking in the Spirit. Paul understood this and stated it clearly in his Epistle to the Romans:
Romans 8:5 (NKJV)
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit on things of the Spirit.”
Recently, as I was reading my Bible, my attention became fixed on Proverbs 14:33. It began to cause me to reflect on the contrast between wisdom and foolishness:
Proverbs 14:33 (NKJV)
“Wisdom rests quietly in the heart of him who has understanding. But what is in the heart of fools is made known.”
As I continued to read, I came to Proverbs 15:2. Join this to with Proverbs 14:33 and it completes the message:
Proverbs 15:2 (NKJV)
“The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.”
These two proverbs reminded me of those times when my own words have been foolish, or hurtful responses to what I allowed to come from within my heart. Too often, we find that our emotions seize control of our hearts. Then, what is in our hearts pours out of our mouths. These words, intentional or not, become like a blast of poison-filled fog that destroys the spirits of those who are enveloped by them. How can we stop this from happening? The answer is always the same. We have to “live according to the spirit,” allowing the Spirit of God to help us keep our hearts clear and soft. Otherwise, our emotions will harden our hearts and cause them to degenerate into a poisonous fog of words that fills the air with destruction. The Word of God tells us that our words carry the potential to give life or take it:
Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Proverbs 25:11 (NKJV)
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”
How often do you ask the Holy Spirit to help you guard your heart and when necessary, seal your lips? Ask Him to remind you of this whenever you feel the carnal desire to speak in ignorance or lash out in anger, pride or hurtfulness. Do not allow your flesh to release that fog of destructive words into the air. Let only those words that are as precious as “apples of gold in settings of silver” leave your mouth. Become known as someone who blesses the ears of those who hear your voice. Remember this; your words not only touch the people around you, but also go from your lips to God’s ears. Wouldn’t it be good for all of us to know that whatever we say blesses the Lord?
There is one more thing about the words you speak that is well worth understanding. Once your words are released into the air, you will never be able to take them back. They will either be like a fog of destruction or a fresh wind of blessings. The next time you start to speak, pause and remember this. It just might change the quality and fruitfulness of your day. It just might make a difference in someone else’s day. It certainly will make God proud of you and bless Him greatly.
Copyright © Robert Abramson 2013