Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly (well) spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
Yes, words well-spoken can bring the beauty of affirmation and are so valuable to both the giver and receiver! I can remember, as I’m sure you do, those well-said words that brought inspiration after an accomplishment, encouragement in a struggle, affirmation after a victory, comfort in a loss, and reassurance through the ups and downs of life. Words do wield a great power that when spoken thoughtfully bring encouragement and empowerment to life. We each have that power to employ.
Proverbs 15:23 To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!
Though words do pack incredible positive power, they can also be harmful. I know I have said some very hurtful, thoughtless, and unkind words in my life. Most of them were due to not thinking before I speak or not being sensitive to the people I was talking to. Words can bring healing, harmony, help, hope, honor and even humor. Words can also bring hurt, hindrance, hardship, harm, and even harassment. We need to be careful handling this power God has given us.
Proverbs 21:23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
The idea is to understand the words we express make a difference, make an impact, especially if we are a leader, or parent, or friend, or person of influence. Our words matter and we are to be careful when we speak. I was waiting in line at a local fast-food restaurant. A young person a few people in front of me said in very sharp tone to the smiling older person working at the register, “Hey you, I’m in hurry, pay attention, do you speak English? I want a….” You could tell the employee was discouraged by the demeaning words. Words pack power. The very next day. I was getting a beverage at a local coffee shop where the smiling barista asked politely how much whipped cream a customer wanted. The customer rolled her eyes and spouted out in a gruff tone, “Enough!” The barista added a bit more and asked if that was enough. The customer just started at her and said, “Tray!” The barista, a bit confused, asked, “Would you like a drink holder?” Which was met with the customer saying louder, “TRAY!” The barista nicely responded with a smile, as she put the drinks in a holder. The customer grabbed the drinks and walked off. There was no “thank you”, no “have a nice day.” I don’t know how that barista felt, but I felt uncomfortable and made sure I said thank you.
The Bible book of James has a lot to say about our words, specifically James 3:1-12. It likens our speech to the power of fire that can get out of control and lay to waist anything in its path. Our words can devastate like an out of control fire. Likewise, the small rudder of a ship has the power to turn even a very large ship. Our words, spoken by a small part of our body, has the power to change the course of our lives. Words are powerful to us and to others. We are to be cautious, for words wield great power. What do the power of your words do? Do they bless? Do they curse? In that Bible passage in James, we discover our speech has dual power…
James 3:9-10 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
Our words should bless, build up, and give grace. The Scriptures are clear.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Let’s use the power of our words to inspire, encourage, affirm, comfort, and reassure. You could change the course of a person’s day, and even your own.
Church can be a place where we are encouraged and challenged to use our words well. If you do not already have a church to attend, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. We are a fun, welcoming church and would love for you to connect with us! Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our Sunday gatherings. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.
Seeking to be cautious, wielding the power of words alongside you,
Mike McKay, Lead Pastor, Neighborhood Church