So what does this picture have to do with the subject of my post? Well, nothing and everything! Truth be told: I love blogs that use word-pictures, but; I still don’t know how to upload pics from my phone onto the computer (poor Iggy, in for another request for tutelage); and finally I found this picture in my limited online collection and sure enough it brought something to mind that fits nicely with what I wanted to write about on words. More later on why I chose this image, and what popped into my brain…
The impetus for writing about words came as a result of my previous post on “Change”. After posting, several people asked me about the identity of the person that had spoken “wounding words” into my life. It was that question that made me want to write more about words; their power; our choices and God’s instruction.
Just what does God say about words?
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and Word was God.” John 1:1
That words DO have power! Great power! God SPOKE the world into existance with the words “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3).
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue,” Proverbs 18:21
There are MANY other references in the Bible that instruct us on the power of words & the tongue. I’ve learned a lot about the power of words to wound OR heal! I’ve been frustrated at every turn over my lack of control! If I had to list all the times I’ve used words to wound; My husband; my children!; my friends and even strangers…well, let’s put it this way, it would be a VERY long list!
I’m very thankful that God wants me to have victory in this area with admonitions like.. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) AND “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven, and you on the earth, so let your words be few.”(Ecclesiastes 5:2). I don’t believe God is saying “Don’t ever talk” (as if James Earl Jones were uttering in a low stern voice). I think He just wants us to take the time to think about what were going to say & above all our motive for saying it!
Because the tongue is so unruly, I don’t think it’s within our power to bridle it, but I DO believe God has the power! He can CHANGE our words as He transforms our minds! Remember it was God who gave us the prayer… “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14 KJV) AND He’s given us HIS words! “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:1 NIV) AND His Spirit, the Helper… “For the Spirit of God does not make us timid, but gives power, love and self discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)
Remember the man I spoke of from the earlier post? Well, he’s a part of how the picture above ties into all of this… The bottom line is this… Yes, his words did wound, BUT he also spoke MANY more words of hope & peace into my life that I didn’t share! Remember I talked about how MY words have wounded, even my precious children? How I wish I could take them ALL back, and how I wish I could say, “I will never speak words that wound again.” But that would make me an even greater fool than I already am! All this to say of course I’ve forgiven him! I love him! He is a precious brother who lives to love & serve the same God that’s forgiven me! That’s why God tells us to..”Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you have a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” THAT’s what popped into my mind when I saw that picture! We’re forgiven! We’re free! He will not hold all the ugly words I’ve said or words left unspoken against me (How many times has He wanted us to speak words of healing into someones life?).
You know…God is the original author of “Freedom of Speech”. Which begs the question, “What will our words bring with them today? Pain? Death? Condemnation? OR Life? Hope? Love? Remember we’re free! How will we use that freedom? The choice is ours…