The immense power of words cannot be overstated. Most of us have memories of both pain and joy based upon words that have been Spoken to us. In so many ways words are like bricks!
You get hit with the wrong word and it can literally rock your world. You can also be built up and encouraged through the power of words.
I have always loved the Message translation of Proverbs 18:21
“Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”
Sounds simple right?
Here is what is interesting…Our words reveal what is going on under the hood of our lives. One of the things I love about Jesus is that He does a wonderful job of identifying the real problems we face as human beings.
You see, “our problem” is never really our problem.
So, if we have a problem with money – the Problem is not just about money. And if we have problems with our words, the problem is not vocabulary or technique problems. The diagnosis in the Bible is that at the center of our problem, we have a massive heart problem.
Jesus tells us that you and I must come to admit that our hearts are our greatest communication problem.
In Luke 6:45, Jesus says this:
For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Have you noticed this? Do you realize this?
What happens in my world and in your world is this…
We are going about our daily life, someone or something “bumps into us”, and our hearts “overflow” through…words. Just listen to yourself the next time you’re driving and someone cuts you of?
After expounding the amazing things God has done on our behalf in and through Jesus in Ephesians 1-3, the apostle Paul talks about the practical day-to-day lives of followers of Jesus. Guess what Paul talks about? Ourwords!
Paul says this:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Do you know that what Paul is telling us in this verse is that When you open your mouth to talk – do it without considering yourself first?
OH. MY. GOODNESS. Friends, I believe we have found the cure to just about every marital problem! I believe we have found the cure to the Gossip, and Back-stabbing, and Envy, and Complaining that markd so much of our culture.
If we simply lived out this simple and single verse that Paul lays down for us – can you imagine the type of relationships, they type of friendships, the type of marriages, the type of kids – that we would produce?
If you’re still with me, here are two practical ways to perhaps put all of this into action:
1. How can you leverage the power of words in the lives of specific people through affirming, encouraging, and building that person up?
2. How can you leverage the power of words through having that “avoided” conversation you need to have and reconcile “that issue” with “that person”?
(hint: because our words are an overflow of our hearts… listen to your words to diagnose how you are really doing and begin there!)
Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.