The Power of Words

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

Genesis 1:27

The past few weeks I’ve been writing to you about your self-worth. I’ve been writing because I feel like you needed to hear life giving words. You see, there is power in words. Words can build us up or tear us down, they possess so much potential but are rarely used to their full power. We are created by a God who spoke the universe into existence, one who sent his son to die on the cross for each of us, and while he was on the cross defeated death when he said, “It is finished.” Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Our words are a powerful tool that we all wield. I think we need to reclaim this weapon. We have all felt the sting of what happens when others use this to hurt us, to tear our hearts open and cause so much pain. The past two weeks I have been writing about the fact that we are all made in the image of God, and we are so worth loving. We must believe this fact, we must believe that God created us for so much more. We are greater than what the world tries to say we are, we are made for a purpose. We are made to build up the kingdom, so we must use the power of our words to accomplish the mission.

Yesterday, Pastor Jason (Daystar’s Northern campus pastor) spoke upon the power of words. It was such a great message and struck me as a powerful coincidence that I was planning to write on this same topic. I think it’s time to reclaim the power of our words. We are living in a world where we make sexist jokes, make rap songs about rape, and simply limit the potential of others with the words we speak and say it’s okay. We tell our daughters they aren’t pretty enough and tell our sons they can’t be emotional. It has to stop. We must stand against these norms because we believe that God made each of us in his image. We need to teach our children to use their words to speak life, to stop the putrid hate that comes from our mouths and what we type. I am furious about the words I see and hear. I think we all need to be furious. We were made by a creator that loves us and saved us. We all fall short, but have been saved by grace. So it’s time to use our words, it’s time we speak life over death. Our words have power, and we must use it wisely.

Sticks and stones break bones, but words will change you forever.

Words stay with us. They make us feel as if we aren’t good enough and that we don’t amount to anything. We need to run from those who try to hurt us with words; to take a stand from the life altering things that are spoken over you. In order to do this, we need community. We need solid people in our lives that will speak life and we speak life to. You see the thing is, while words can destroy us, life giving speech can rebuild what has been lost. We need a positive community. In my life, school was a deadly place filled with words that hurt me. Each week I had a small group and met with brothers who spoke life into me, healing the wounds that were created by fools. You need a community. While words can hurt you, words also have the potential to lift you up. Words can change you forever, so surround yourself with a Christ centered community and you will experience the power of words.

With great power comes great responsibility.

Gotta love classic Uncle Ben wisdom for a young Spider-man. This quote means so much, and it means so much to all of us because we have great power. Our words are a tool that can do so much, so we need to be responsible. We need to speak life. We need to let our daughters know that they are beautiful just the way they are because God created every part of them. We need to let our sons know that emotions can be fueled to create positive change, that they are men of God and need to show love to others around them. We need to be careful with what we share on our social media profiles, we need to be careful with the jokes we make, and we need to think about the story we are telling others. Does this sound a bit intense? Good, because this is a serious matter. We are spiritual beings in a sinful world, we need to rise above the desire of our flesh to build the kingdom. You are created in the image of God, and you are so worth loving, but so are your brothers and sisters around you. You have great power, so use with great responsibility, the power of your words.

Create a generational shift.

We have to set an example for the people around us. We are children of God, and that means the change begins in our hearts. Without that heart change, we will be unable to make a difference. We have to start using these words to change the world. Maybe I’m just a dreamer, but I dream of a world that uses words to build others up. I dream for a place that doesn’t exist yet. We must change our generation. We must start treating women with respect as men. We can’t look at the media and see comments made by “leaders” and stare at images of women lustfully. We must treat these women as our sisters, we need to read the book of Ruth in the Bible. If we read that and aren’t living like Boaz, we need to make a shift in our lifestyle. That is what a real man is. We must come together as men and women, brothers and sisters in Christ, and speak positive life giving words to each other. We need to set an example for the next generation so they can spill into their descendants the same power of words. We wield a powerful weapon of words, so lets change the world.

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I know we have all suffered the effects that words have on us. We have all experienced the pain and sadness that comes from deep hurt spoken over us. We were not made to live like that. We were made in the image of God. We have a tool that can build kingdoms or tear down the hearts of others. We must rise up. We must stand in the presence of our creator and use the power of our words. You were made for more, and so were your brothers and sisters. Change the world with the power of your words.

You were made for a purpose, so use your words to usher in that purpose in the lives of those around you.

-Joshua Thomas

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