The Power of Words
What does it mean to be a fool? The word “fool” means to be open. You’re open to anything and everything. When I do something foolish, I go with my emotions and with the crowd. When I take the path of foolishness, I pay for it.
The Bible and the book of Proverbs refer to foolish talk quite a lot.
Did you know we typically have 30 conversations in a day’s time? We compose and receive an average of 128 texts every day. As a whole, Americans send 18.7 billion texts per day. What we say and the words we use have the power to either build up or tear down.
Choose your words
We’re all about words, are we not? We’re all about conversations. Words are the wonderful gift of communication that God has given us. What is the importance of using our words effectively and wisely? They can be awesome, but words can also be horrible and filled with hate. Words can extend peace, or they can start wars. There is power in our words.
Adolph Hitler’s words led to the extermination of millions of Jews. By contrast, Martin Luther King Jr.’s words led to freedom and equality.
What are your words saying about you? How are you doing in your conversations? What are you doing with your words?
The Wonder of Words
An excellent way to think about the importance of using words effectively is the following acrostic, remembering that words are:
Someone about something.
That’s what a word is, that’s what a conversation is—a God-given opportunity to relate dynamically to someone about something.
God Created With Words
God created the heavens and the earth with His word alone. The Bible says he spoke the world into existence. Genesis 1:3 says, “Then God said….” God created everything by his spoken word.
Jesus is also called the Word. John 1 begins with, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
What the Bible says about our words
We have different ways we communicate, and the book of Proverbs talks about what our words should be like. The power of our words cannot be overstated.
Our words should be filtered
Proverbs 15:28 says, “The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking.” Likewise, “Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut,” Proverbs 21:23 says, “and you’ll stay out of trouble.”
Proverbs says I need to think before speaking. Before I open my mouth, I need to stop and think. Well, how do we do that?
Once a person becomes a follower of Christ, and once we receive Jesus, we receive the Word. Jesus places the Holy Spirit in our lives to keep us in check and to warn us.
The Holy Spirit is like a teleprompter. It teaches us and guides us. It’s that voice.
I don’t mean an audible voice, but something deeper than that, which speaks to your spirit and mine. It tells you when you’ve said enough. In your inner spirit, you’ll sense that it’s time to quit talking.
A conversation is a two-way street. Shut up. Let the other person talk sometimes. Look the other person in the eyes. Ask questions.
Get involved in this conversational cadence. Limit your words to stay out of trouble.
Our words must be the truth
Proverbs 12:22 says, “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.”
Likewise, Proverbs 25:18 states, “Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an axe, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow.” Wow!
In John 8:44, talking about Satan, it says, “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Do you lie to your spouse, your parents, your kids, or coworkers? Do you exaggerate, use innuendos, or leave stuff out? It hurts the heart of God because our sin condition was caused by the telling and believing of a lie.
Go back to the book of Genesis and the story of Adam and Eve and Satan. Instead, make sure your words are words of honesty.
Our words must be life-giving
First, we see Proverbs 10:11a (NLT) says, “The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain.”
Later in Proverbs 15:4a (NLT), we read, “Gentle words are a tree of life.”
And again Proverbs, 15:1 says, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”
Realize the importance of choosing your words carefully to be most effective when you interact with others, especially nonbelievers. The Bible says that the world will know believers by their fruit, or the results of their actions.
5 Powerful phrases
The following list contains five keywords or phrases you can incorporate into your everyday life. These words will foster peace, bring encouragement, and be life-affirming in your conversations.
When you order your coffee or a meal, ask politely. Use the word “please.”
#2. Thank you
Do you ever say “thank you” to God for words? Have you ever said “thank you” to your spouse for what they do? You might think, ‘Oh, they already know it.’ No, they don’t. I mean, I can live on one compliment for a couple of months. Don’t let “thank you” go unsaid.
People sometimes say, “I know you hear it all the time…” and I go, “No, I don’t. Bring it on.” Because I don’t.
Are you saying “thank you” at restaurants? Have you ever said “thank you” to a police officer? Have you ever said “thank you” to a fireman? Say “thank you” to a friend. Thank you.
How about saying “thank you” to your mother who carried you for 9 months? Have you ever done that? Add “thank you” to your closing remarks.
#3. I’m proud of you
We think men don’t care about hearing those words. But if you tell your husband, boyfriend, or your son that you’re proud of them, the impact will be life-changing. If you want to change your company, your classroom, or your medical practice, try saying, “I’m proud of you.”
#4. I’m sorry
A true apology sounds like this: “I’m sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me.” Not, “I’m sorry IF I hurt you.”
#5. Help me understand where you’re coming from
You won’t believe what those words will do at the beginning stages of conflict.
Perhaps you have some people who report to you in some way, shape, or form. Maybe you’re a mom, maybe you’re a dad, maybe you’re a CEO, or maybe you’re a surgeon. You might be an attorney or a pastor. When you’re in disagreement with someone, try saying that. All of a sudden, you’ll have communication and connectivity and the interaction will be phenomenal.
Giving Jesus Your Word
If you have a wonderful opportunity to relate dynamically to someone, the conversation leads back to Jesus. He lived a perfect life, died on the cross for our sins—something we don’t deserve—, and then He rose again. Now he offers you eternal life. You can spend eternity with Him, just by giving Him your word. Are you ready to pledge your life to Him?
There is no better time than right now to reach out and ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. Admit that you’ve sinned and need Him to redeem your past mistakes. Then invite Him to walk through this life with you, guiding you each step of the way. He promises to help you.
If you’ve made a decision to follow Christ, or you have questions, visit us at Fellowship Church—in person or online—and get connected. We’d love to partner with you on your journey
Want to learn more? Watch the related sermon.