June 9th

 

Word Power

 

“The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment” Proverbs 10:21 NIV

 

There are many verses in Proverbs that address the power of words.  Each of us know people through our work relationships, family, friends, church, etc.. We have unique opportunities to speak into their lives every day.  In some cases we may be the only ones close enough to a person in need to make a difference in his or her life at a strategic moment.  

 

One of my weaknesses has been the tendency toward being critical of other people.  I’ve had to ask God for help in changing years of critical speaking.  I find that when I say good things I feel better about everything. I still have a long way to go, but God is helping me find good things to say and think on about the people around me.  When there is nothing good I can think of to say, then I try to not say anything.

 

We have often prayed for people who needed healing for wounds caused by hurtful words.  It seems that those who are closest to us can injure us most.  For example, a father’s angry remark of “You’re good for nothing” can hang over a daughter or son all their lives, and literally act as a curse to bring failure to pass.   Solomon wrote, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18 NIV). 

 

Good words can act as blessings on our lives.  In high school I had a crew coach that encouraged me early on when he saw that I had some talent for rowing.  I responded with enthusiasm and worked hard at my training exercises.  To my delight, I excelled beyond anyone’s expectations and earned a spot on the varsity boat as a sophomore.  The coach’s encouraging words inspired me and helped me believe that I could be successful. 

 

I hope that we will all be more aware of the opportunities we have to influence people in good ways, just like my coach influenced me.  As God’s children, we have the benefit of the Holy Spirit helping us to show God’s love to people.  Are we yielding to the Spirit and making most of the opportunities to show God’s love to people through our words?  Are we using our words to encourage and build others up, or tear them down?  I pray that we will use those opportunities to invest positive words in people and foster God’s healing in their lives. 

 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Dear God in heaven, thank you for giving me the power and ability to speak words of life and blessing in my life and the people around me.  I confess that I have misused this power to speak harmful words to people in the following ways: ______(list).  I see that as sin and I ask for your forgiveness.  Lord, please help me use my mouth to foster healing and life in the people around me each day.  I yield my tongue to the Holy Spirit to do your work!  Thank you, Father!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”