Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Power of Words

I sat in church this past Sunday, warmed through by the powerful singing of the choirs and ensembles, inspired and encouraged, and ready to drink in the message from the pastor. Yet I was totally unprepared for the challenging words he would share, icy drops of refreshing truth, not painful but certainly causing me to sit up straight and think back, think inwardly…

“Words affirm ideas. They encourage beliefs.”

The wheels of my mind raced as I began to think of all the people who had spoken words over me. Powerful words. Words as far back as early childhood that, as a now grown woman, I could easily recall. I thought about how those words had shaped my perception of who I am, what I was capable of. I thought of the discouragement, the hurtful words, and how they deterred me from trying things, made me fearful.

Then came the hard part, the stirring of the Holy Spirit, the voice that says to me, so often, “I know you want to focus on yourself, Beloved, but I need you to choose not to be a victim. I have used those old scars to make you who you are, I have healed your heart. Instead of focusing there, think about My sheep. have your words ministered to My children? What ideas have YOU reinforced with YOUR words?”

I cringed in shame as I thought of all the thoughtless, impatient, critical or careless words I have spewed out into the world. I thought of how careless words, ill-intentioned words, ignorant words, had shaped my life...and now I suddenly identified with those people who had victimized me. “I’m sorry, Lord,” I said. It was all I could muster. I was overcome. Broken before Him, once again.

So often I speak because I think-or I want others to think-that I have things all figured out. I diagnose…or at least that’s what I thought I was doing. But really what I’m doing is what Proverbs 18:21 speaks about. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Oh, if we would just choose to speak life. If we would just choose sometimes NOT to speak. How many more victories would His children win, how many more gifts would they develop, how many more people’s lives would be healed, touched, how many more friends we would have, allies...

Could we make it through one whole day without sarcasm? Without impatience? Without meanness? Can we choose to build up and not tear down? To encourage? To teach? It's really my challenge to myself...but I wanted to share it with you today. Blessings!

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