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