I live in a world of words. All day I am surrounded by them; my words, words of others. Talking, listening, words are, literally, my livelihood, my career, and my passion. Words are powerful. I think they are one of the most powerful things in creation. Words are creation. In fact, it is through the accounting of Creation in Genesis that we first begin to understand the power of words, specifically the power of the Word of God. God spoke all creation, all life in to existence. The Bible mentions the power of the Word of God numerous times; how powerful it is, how decisive. The Word of God brings conviction; it brings peace. In the book The Power of Words and the Wonder of God by John Piper and Justin Taylor, the authors expresses it like this; “Words carry immeasurable significance: The universe was created with a word; Jesus healed and cast out demons with a word; rulers have risen and fallen by their words”. Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
I love that…most of the time. But, just at the Word of God is a powerful, it is important to remember something else: so are ours. Genesis 1:27 tells us that God created us in His own image. This is a verse we read and wonder at. We pause and think of the awesomeness of these words…and then we live our lives seldom thinking of it. I do that. I think and meditate on this, and then move on. I am incapable of fully understanding this truth. I know that the image of God has suffered through the years. We are a long way from the Garden of Eden.
Our words do not create worlds, of course not. Our words create joy, peace, sadness, pain. Our words can define worlds for people.
This is especially true for parents. How often do our words impact our children? I know the answer to this: How often do we speak to them? Sometimes our silence is just as powerful, if not more so.
I am not always good at this. I have a daughter who is a mini-me. This is so true that I often find myself cringing at the words that come out of her mouth. I will get mad because they sound a little too much like something I have said, and I cringe. What do I do? I say something stupid, which leads to a tear in her spirit. I see it happening, and I am powerless to unwind time and take it back. The awful thing I said may not have sounded so awful to me, but to her it is devastating. I can apologize, I can mend the wrong, and it will heal, but it will leave a scar; scars that will often remain.
Our words are powerful. They can destroy our children and the people around us. Words can also heal. What will your words do today?
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29