The Power of Words

“Words: So innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to use them.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

How true is that quote from Hawthorne? When singled out from anything else, a word is simply that.. a word. But when words are used by someone to convey a message they have an incredible power behind them.

Words can be used to build up a friend. They can be used to tear down an enemy. The can be used to portray a story to a child. They can be utilized between doctors to save a life. They can be thrown at a person with such malice and force that could cause them to take their own life.

We are told in Matthew that we will be held accountable for every last word we have ever spoken.

 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” | Matthew 12:36-37

After I read that, I begin to feel the weight of what my words might be. I’ve said a lot of not so nice things to people. To be honest, I’m not looking forward to that part of meeting God for the first time when I get to heaven. For when I have to stand in front of God as He asks me why I said this or why I said that (and that definitely includes everything we “say” online. God’s watching your Facebook and Twitter.).

And guess what… you will too! Good news though, thanks to Jesus Christ, we have been given forgiveness since He sacrificially gave Himself in our place.

So, we probably need to watch what we say. My mom used to say something similar to this, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then shut your mouth.” That’s a good motto to live by I think.

Proverbs 18 tells us that what we speak can bring life or death. Why not use our words to bring life, build each other up and share the love of Jesus Christ with everyone we talk to? How incredible would it be if we were to share messages of love with one another instead of belittling and degrading one another?

Test Time:
If you haven’t noticed yet, Facebook has a link floating around right now that will create a “word cloud picture” of the most used words from your posts, status updates, and pictures. What a great way to learn about your words and possibly figure out what kind of power your words have. The bigger the word in the picture, the more often you use that word.

Reflection:
What does your word cloud say about you? Are your words more positive or negative? Are you building or destroying? Is there something missing from your word cloud that you think should be there? What is your biggest word? Do your words reflect Christ and His love?

More from the Bible on the Power of Words:
Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction. The tongue can bring death or life, those who love to talk will reap the consequences. | Proverbs 18:21

But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you. | Matthew 15:18-20

Wise words will win you a good meal, but treacherous people have an appetite for violence. Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything. | Proverbs 13:2-3

Peace and Grace.

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