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THE POWER OF WORDS
Why is The Power of Words significant?
The Power of Words is significant because “words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose” (MSG, Proverbs 18:21). The Power of our Words will determine the condition of our relationship, both personal and professional. In addition, our internal dialogue, what we think about, is like the Captain of the ship who directs where the ship will go. Then it’s up to the “smallest mechanism” of the ship, the rudder to guide it to that direction. The rudder only takes direction from the captain or person steering the ship. Just like our words, our thoughts give life or death orders by our thinking (Above or Below the Line Thinking).
Why this is so important, is because someone who has control over his or her own spirit is much better equipped in life to fulfill their vision. “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit more than he who takes a city” (KJV, Proverbs 16:32).
Anything with Power must be handled with caution, care, and regard. All throughout the scriptures, God teaches the virtues of refrain, reflection, and self-control.
“He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty (without consideration or understanding) of spirit creates foolishness” (KJV, Proverbs 14:29). Therefore, because our words have power, and temptations and snares are at every turn, and the believer that chooses to charge ahead, speaking without thinking (Above the Line Thinking), and simply reacts vs responds will reap a consequence and surely come to ruin.
What does The Power of Words mean?
It means, just like with a boat, there is a captain who has the plans and the training to guide and run the ship. Much like the captain, we must think the way that God would want us to think. The way he has taught us to think (Above the Line Thinking). When we trust the captain of our ship (our life), we will be cautious and careful to think before we speak. And when we speak, we speak from (Above the Line Thinking) from the authority of alignment. That being in alignment with us and God.
“Gentle words bring forth life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit”
(NET, Proverbs 15:4).
“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls” (KJV, Proverbs 25:28).
How do you use The Power of Words?
Well, my friend, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end, it leads to death” (NIV, Proverbs 14:12). In this lesson we explore the consequences and the rewards, and so much more…
So, what’s at stake?
What’s at stake is your vision for your life from Lesson 1. Alone our efforts are futile and empty; however, when we align ourselves with the Almighty God, “The heart of man plans his ways, but the Lord establishes his steps” (KJV, Proverbs 16:9). By understanding how the power of your words work, and what it takes to activate them, you will begin to develop clarity unlike you’ve ever experienced before. It’s then your eyes begin to open, your lungs begin to expand and your smile begins to glean as you march towards God’s purpose and vision for your life.
The Power of Your Words
Your words through the tongue has power of life and death - Proverbs 18:21
Your words have the power to destroy and the power to build up - Proverbs 12:6
Are you choosing to use your words to build up people or destroy them? Are others being filled with hate or love, bitterness or blessing, complaining or compliments, lust or love, victory or defeat by what you say? Your words are tools that can make life better, but any tool can be misused.
Your words have incredible significance as you can see from the above verses; however, the book of Matthew you will be called to give an account for everything you’ve ever said before Jesus Christ. “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” - Matthew 12:36-37
Be Careful How you Talk
One of my favorite verses according to the book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul wrote, “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” - Ephesians 4:29. The Greek word translated “unwholesome” means “rotten” or “foul” and originally referred to rotten fruit and vegetables. This could include such things as vulgar humor, dirty jokes, and foul language which have no place in the life of a Believer.
Instead, your speech is to be characterized by “only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” - Colossians 3:16; 4:6. Your words are to build others up by being kind, helpful, respectful, edifying, affirming, and beneficial.
Do NOT lie instead tell the truth
Do NOT gossip instead clarify and seek understanding and truth
Do NOT curse or tear down instead build up and edify
Glorify Christ by How you Talk
To speak in truth
To build up
To be light and salt to those who hear you (Ambassador of Christ)
Check Your Heart and Guard Your Thoughts
What you say is a “heart” issue. Jesus reminds us that the words we speak are actually the overflow of our hearts in Matthew 12:34-35. Therefore, we should be aware of our old tendencies and desire to create new ones - Ephesians 4:22-24.
When you become a Believer, there is an expectancy that a change of speech follows because living for Christ makes a difference in one’s choice of words. We are a peculiar people who is to set ourselves apart from the word. The sinner’s mouth is “full of cursing and bitterness” according to Romans 3:14; however, when we turn our lives over to Christ, we gladly confess that “Jesus is Lord” and helps us to work on the corruptible things (sin) lay lingers within us that separates us from the fellowship and favor of God. The condemned sinner’s mouth is silenced before the throne of God in Romans 3:19; however, the believer’s mouth is opened to praise and glorify God according to Romans 15:6.
Ironically, before we were saved, we were spiritually dead according to Ephesians 2:1-3 where Paul describes those who are dead in sin: “Their throats are open graves” - Romans 3:13. Our words are full of blessing when the heart is full of blessing. So, if we fill our hearts with the love of Christ, only truth and purity can come out of our mouths.
Peter tells us, “In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Therefore, as we develop a greater understanding in our hearts for the Lord, as we spend time with him in prayer and his word, we begin to be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” - 1 Peter 3:15.
Allow the power of your words to be used of God to manifest the power of your faith.
Going Deeper in the Word
The Power of words
“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” - Proverbs 12:18 ESV
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” - Hebrews 4:12 ESV
Words can provoke and trigger
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” - Proverbs 15:1 ESV
How to use your words to avoid trouble and win favor
“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble” - Proverbs 21:23 ESV
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” - Proverbs 16:24 ESV
“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit” - Proverbs 15:4 ESV
“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin” - Proverbs 13:3 ESV
Guard your Heart
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless” - James 1:26 ESV
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” - Psalm 19:14 ESV
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” - Colossians 4:6 ESV
Daily practices to use our words wisely
Here are 7 prayers that you can pray one for each day of the week or all seven every day)
1. Make my words and the thoughts of my heart acceptable in Your sight.
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer” - Psalm19:14
2. Keep me from speaking when what I say could get me in trouble.
“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” - Proverbs 21:23
3. Help me to be committed not to sin with my mouth.
“I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.”- Psalm 17:3b
4.Keep my words focused on praising You and pointing others to You.
“My mouth will tell of Your righteous acts, of Your deeds of salvation all the day,” - Psalm 71:15
5.Keep your heart clean.
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” - Luke 6:45
6.Help me to share your Words that bring eternal life.
“Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” - John 6:68
7.Help me speak words that build up others.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up,” - Ephesians 4:29
Often as a kid I would hear the saying, “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me” couldn’t be farther from the truth.
As a matter of fact, according to the Bible, words have power to hurt and destroy. In fact, they can kill. Yet, at the same time they can heal and help others. And while it’s true that words are not the same as physical weapons, they often used as the triggers that set off the use of physical weapons.
It’s no wonder, then, that Scripture warns believers in so many places about being wise with our words. This powerful gift of language is part of what it means to be made in God’s image. Just take a moment to think about it. God created the universe out of nothing by speaking it into existence. And when it came to creating human beings to inhabit His world, He made the first man and woman with the ability to speak not only to each other but also to Him. What is more, God gave them (and subsequently all of us) the capacity to speak truth or falsehood—and the guarantee of reaping the consequences of our choices to speak truth or falsehood.
In the book of James, a peculiar warning was issued which talks about he power of words, “Not many [believers] should become teachers” - James 3:1. He wasn’t trying to deter those whom God calls to this particular kind of Christian service. Rather, he was urging all Christians to recognize how powerful and potentially hurtful their speech can be if not kept under the Holy Spirit’s control.
Our words can be especially damaging—
When we mislead others with our words into sinful attitudes and behavior. The Apostle James compared speech to two common objects that control the direction of larger objects. First, he depicted a rider who controls the direction of a horse with a bridle, the bits of which work inside the horse’s mouth. Second, he depicted a boat’s captain who steers a ship with a comparatively small rudder. Similarly, words might seem to be a small thing but they can steer others on a course of life that in the end is dangerous and destructive.
When destructive words poison relationships. James used another vivid image—the destruction caused by an out-of-control fire. In November 2016, two young boys in a dry, wooded area of Mt. Charleston in Nevada were playing with matches. A gust of high wind caught the small flame, and a raging wildfire quickly developed. Before the fire was extinguished, fourteen people died, a hundred others sustained injuries, and property loss was enormous. James knew that out-of-control speech could wreak similar devastation on people’s relationships (i.e., gossip, lies, etc.). Such hurtful use of speech is why James warned that “the tongue … is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
When hypocritical words come from the same mouth. James echoed the way that some people could utter blessings and praise to God in one context (church, work, etc.) and in other contexts (at home with friends or family) spew angry, bitter curses at people who are made in God’s image. How many relationships have been damaged or destroyed because people “weaponize” their speech against each other? As James declared, “My brothers and sisters, these things should not be this way” - James 3:10b.
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