here’s one way we affect the world

 
My middle boy has tested my sanity lately. Sweet thing. He’s completely precious and tender-hearted. He can take anything apart and (almost) put it back together. He hurts when people hurt. And he prays to Jesus. But, like all of us, he has weaknesses. And his weaknesses colliding with my weaknesses have made for some ug-lay moments.

One of our biggest struggles as of late is with our words (his and mine), specifically when anger or frustration arise. My favorite was when he said I was meaner than satan. Nice. I followed with an equally winning comment, “Oh, I can show you mean if that’s what you want.” Not my grandest moment.

But this struggle with words has challenged me to think about the power of words. Because whoever coined that ridiculous statement about “sticks and stones” must have been smokin’ somethin’ because words absolutely affect us.

 

Words are power.

 

Words can humiliate and degrade. They can evoke fear and shame. They can make people run away or hide for cover. But. They can also pour life into another’s soul.

Words can squash fear and make us feel like we could fly. They can empower us to take the next step in a dark valley. They can minister grace and mercy when judgment seems more logical. They can encourage and bless, lift and even transform our today. Words are power.

 

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Proverbs 18:21

 

Then there’s us in our areas of cyberspace that we call our writing home.

Those words we type onto the page can change the people on the other side of the screen. Our words can cause chains of religiosity to fall off. They can stir hope in places of utter hopelessness. They can serve up grace to those who feel like outcasts. They can show Jesus to someone who may have never looked into His face.

Oh yes. You and I — we can affect the world, beginning within the four walls of our homes and then spreading across time zones and continents.

Words are power — for better or for worse.

 

Father, put a guard on my mouth today. Use me to pour out life on those around me with words that are grounded in Your truth. And then thank You, thank You for Your grace when I fail.

 

Running this faith race beside you,
Lara

 
Tell of a time when you experienced the power of words — for better or worse.
 

Lara

Speaker and writer, Lara Williams ministers with a passion to see God's Word affecting the moments of our daily lives as children of the King. You can find out more about her at www.LaraWilliams.org or read her blog at www.ToOverflowing.com.

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  • http://crystalstine.me/ CRYSTAL

    Love this so much Lara! Always an inspiration to me :)

    • http://www.larawilliams.org LARA GIBSON WILLIAMS

      Hugs to you sister-friend!

  • http://joyfulmothering.net CHRISTIN

    Oh I love this. When I stumbled upon Ann Voskamp’s blog 4 years ago…I experienced the power of words in such a unique, and beautiful way. I love Ann. Love her heart. Love her poetic style.

    • http://www.larawilliams.org LARA GIBSON WILLIAMS

      Ahhh. Yes. Love Ann’s life-giving words.

  • http://memyselfandmercy.blogspot.com/ MARY BONNER

    Lara, I can hear your voice as I read your words. And I needed this. I wrote about my words and my lack of control this week. (http://www.marybonner.net/2013/06/the-tension-is-so-thick-that-i-cant.html) And while I am not proud of the things I said or the way I acted…I know he forgives. Thank you for this beautiful post…I needed the extra assurance today that I am not alone. Praying for you and me as we learn to control our tongue.

    Blessings~

    Mary

    • http://www.larawilliams.org LARA GIBSON WILLIAMS

      Bless you Mary. We all have our moments that prove to us again and again how much we need Jesus.

  • http://everydayawe.com/ STEPHANIE SPENCER

    Yes! I am preaching a sermon on the power if words this Sunday. Using Proverbs 12:18, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the words of the wise bring healing.” We must do more than control ourselves from speaking negatively. We must choose to speak what loves and heals.

    • http://www.larawilliams.org LARA GIBSON WILLIAMS

      So true. And God has even challenged me to take it a step further and fill my *mind* with loving and healing words so that those kinds of words come out of my mouth “from the heart the mouth speaks.” Blessings in your teaching!

  • KARRILEE AGGETT

    I love this! I am a firm believer of Speaking Life… using words to build up and not tear down… of declaring a thing or two out loud in faith… we all mess up and lose our cool from time to time (especially while parenting, it seems?) but thank God for Grace and for the power of apologizing and asking for forgiveness and for the wisdom of that prayer… “mount a guard over my mouth…” So. Much. Yes.

    • http://www.larawilliams.org LARA GIBSON WILLIAMS

      Yes. Thank Him for grace. And it’s amazing what saying “I messed up” does for restoring relationships.