The power of our spoken words

Our words are so powerful and authoritative. We live in an age where words abound. However, a few words are enough to leave an indelible mark on someone’s heart, for better or for worse. As King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (Proverbs 18:21)

So what does this tell us?

The words we say have the power to put a smile on someone’s face or bring tears to someone else’s eyes. We can encourage each other with words of joy, healing, and hope. On the contrary, we can use certain words to wreak havoc, depression, and ruin on others. Thus, the power of words is unique and immeasurable. So we must choose them wisely.

“The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue breaks the spirit.” (Psalms 15:4)

Some people have mastered the art of hurting others with hurtful words. Those who have personally experienced verbal abuse tell stories of public humiliation, insults, criticism, teasing, and threats by the abuser. The psychological wounds left by verbal abuse are often more difficult to heal than physical wounds. The victim’s self-esteem is destroyed when they are constantly told that they are ugly, useless, stupid, etc. Being verbally abused can be emotionally draining for the victim. You can even claim a life.

In other words, harsh words can bring down our spirits, destroy our self-esteem, and discourage us. These scars can stay with us for decades and affect us in ways we could never understand.

The Apostle James, the younger brother of the Lord, understood the power of the tongue. “But the human tongue cannot be tamed by anyone. It is a restless and wicked tongue, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord, and with it we curse men who were created in the image of God! In the same mouth go forth blessing and healing. These things, my brethren, must not be so. (James 3:8-8)

So whoever said “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” was not, in James’s opinion, telling the truth.

Words spoken in anger can bring massive destruction. This means that when we are offended by someone’s words, we are filled with anger. We lose our ability to reason and, as a result, we start behaving like crazy. We scream; we break things on the wall causing untold damage. Sometimes those who suffer from verbal abuse can develop suicidal thoughts: death and life are in the power of the tongue.

On the other hand, most of us don’t usually see gossip as a big deal. However, the words from the mouth of a gossipy person can cause all sorts of problems. His words can spark conflict, tarnish reputations, break relationships, and destroy careers. Gossip is a sin, and God will condemn those who indulge in it. It spreads falsehood, and worst of all, it is quickly believed. No wonder Solomon does not dilute the words when he says: “The wicked man stirs up discord, and the gossip separates intimate friends.” (Proverbs 16:28)

Finally, and this may come as a surprise to many of us, Jesus is delivering a shocking message about obscene language. Please pay attention to this: “But I tell you that every idle word that men speak, it will be accounted for on Judgment Day, for by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” .” (Matthew 12:37)

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