‘The Power Is Yours’
“Sticks and stones may break my bones
But words shall never hurt me.”- an 1830 English rhyme
Ah, the spoken word.
I saw a post on a friends Facebook page this morning and it served as a reminder of the sheer power negative and positive words have on the trajectory of our lives and on those we love.
As a parent, praise, encouragement and celebration leave our lips and land on our children’s ears and heart. But unfortunately, so does our frustrations, fatigue, heartbreaks and anger.
James 3:3-8 says all we need to know about the power of our words…of our ‘tongue’.
Not exempt from the conviction of speaking harshly to Jeff or the kids, being intentional about what leaves my mouth is something that’s been a work-in-progess over the years.
We know that what’s inside us comes out eventually for “what [we] say flows from what is in [our] heart[s]”.- Luke 6:45. And for a long time, I had a very sick heart.
Common human stuff like life circumstances, personal choices and simply not knowing what I know now contributed to depression, bitterness and havoc in my spirit.
Learning to ‘tame my tongue’ to the best of my ability (“because no human can tame the tongue”-James 3:8) has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to work on. First, I had to really work on state of my heart and that could be an entirely separate blog.
The profound truth that “death and life are in the power of the tongue”-Proverbs 18:21 can be noted in all situations both historically and now.
Just a few examples are; God spoke the world into existence, the wealthy lady refused to speak words to Elisha that her son was dead…instead, even with a sorrowful heart, in faith she said ‘evrything is fine’, Jesus cursed the fig tree with words and also commanded Lazarus to ‘come out!’ from the place he lay dead.
In relation to current happenings, we can hear and read all that is disheartening, all that is ‘worrisome’ all that is ‘scary’ and we can choose to either accept it or reject it.
That’s not to say ignore everything, being blind to our surroundings and not consider important announcements (because well, 1 Peter 5:8), however we have been given the ability to weigh everything we encounter against truth in scripture and have and power and responsibility to filter out the garbage.
Words, words, words.
While the big things are obvious, it’s the seemingly little things that can snag us and keep us from fully thriving.
And that exactly Satan’s objective…to keep us little and do it subtly yet very well. Blatancy isn’this jam. We need to remember that anything obvious isn’t Satan’s character. By nature he is cruel, crafty, powerful, a liar, a betrayer, a deceptor and a master manipulator. So take care of your thoughts, ideas and words.
The little things…
For example, when people say, “I’m fat” or, “You’re fat” those aren’t life-giving words. Sure, people HAVE fat but they aren’t fat in their full composition…they are valued humans with maybe some extra fat in certain areas.
Feel the difference?
We also see viral videos like of that little girl yelling positive affirmations into the mirror and know of the growing plants experiments.
As well, when I think of my own life, it has been words that have affected me most and words that I have hurled at others that have caused the most grief.
Whether it be all the ridiculous fear-based words we read and hear in the media, comparisons made by Hollywood or our own false feelings of inequities that percolate up, we have the power to choose.
We have the power, in Jesus’ name, to choose to hear and speak victory, the power to heal and the power to have joy in the midst of any circumstance.
We have the power to adjust the path of our lives but we also have the power to let our loose lips and careless words destroy, hurt, condemn, minimize an shame ourselves and those around us.
What will you choose today, death or life?
The power is yours. You got this.