The Power of Words

Words, we all use them. It doesn’t matter if you are soft spoken or loud. You are using words. We all use them to communicate whether they be spoken, written or sung.

Have you ever considered the power of your words or if they even hold power? I’m reminded of a song I would sing as a child, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” This is a lyric we are told as kids, given these little 13 words are far from the truth. “If you have nothing nice to say than don’t say anything at all,” my parents told me. Growing up I never thought of the power of my words, but now as an adult I have to question my child-like mind. If I had to be honest, I don’t think that people think before they speak given they should see that, “words do have power!” The day that we realized that as humans the better place the world would be.  Let us go to the beginning of everything. 

Genesis 1:1, 3 reads “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth… verse 3, And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Have you ever paid attention to verse 3? God spoke, his words held power. This is probably the first time that we see the power of words, the power of spoken word. After this revelation, I had to question, what else does the bible says about our words?

In the bible you can easily find scriptures that speak to this subject. You have Proverbs 10:19, “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” I am sure there are times that people will say things, and the first thing that we want to do is retaliate with our words, but is this the wisest thing that we can do? 

Proverbs 18:21 states, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” What we say can speak life or death in your life or that of others.

James 1:19 says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak...” Quick to listen, slow to speak - we are so quick to do the exact opposite. We are so driven to give our opinions on topics instead of listen to what others have to say. We live in this world of “my way or the high way.” Which brings me to my next scripture verse in Proverbs 17:28, “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” Have you ever come across that person that is just yelling out things and you think, “Do you hear yourself?” I wonder how many times God has allowed us to be in certain situations, so that we can learn something but we are too busy speaking and not listening so we don’t get what we should have from the experience.

James 3:5 states, “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire?” What a powerful verse! The tongue being so small, without bone, is extremely strong and is constantly working. A fire is a consuming force and so is your tongue. It can build or break things much greater than itself. In chapter 3 it continues talking about the tongue. I want to call your attention to verse 9, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.” Speechless. This is so true. You have individuals that are praising God on Sundays and then cursing their neighbors with that same mouth. Are you praising God and then cursing his children that he loves? Do you realize the power of your words? There are a lot of other verses that talk about our words and how we should speak in the bible.

I want to also bring your attention to something that weighs heavy on my heart. I want to talk about the Internet; yes this is a big one. The Internet has made the world smaller in a since. You can communicate with someone across the world with a click of a button. A lot of people are on it and the age of the individuals on the Internet is getting younger and younger. In this revolving world where more children are logging on to the Internet are we taking the time to teach children, “not to say something if it isn’t nice?” I mean we have had young teens committing suicide based off of messages and posting that someone else wrote them.

What are we doing to help these individuals as believers? I see more people with their face in their phones, tablets, and computers than talking face-to-face. Have we become a generation that would rather show a certain life on social media than actually live? Yes, I know where you went out to eat, but do I know what is hurting you inside? You know that I liked your picture, but do you know that you can call on me if you need to? Why do we feel the right to speak without thinking?

People have begun to share their minds without regard of who will read it. Someone once said, "The pen is mightier than the sword.” What do we write with pens? Words. They hold power. Think about the words that you say as well as the words that you read. Are you consuming yourself with positive thoughts/words or negative? Words, your words hold life or death. Choose your words wisely. Change starts with you. Will you change your words for the better, so our world can be a better place and people can know who your God is?

The Power of Words gives you some insight on what the bible has to say about our words.

Written by Sylvia Patrica Celestino

Bio: Sylvia Patricia Celestino is a youth leader and 4th grade teacher.

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