Power of Your Words
There are so many topics that I am super passionate about and one of those would be the power of your words. Honestly, I think this topic should be something that every Christian studies and understands. Lately I have been reading and re-reading James and I was once again reminded of why I am so passionate about speaking life.
Proverbs 18:21 has always been my go-to verse on this topic. It says, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” This verse makes it very clear that you have the power to speak life or death. It really is one or the other, but today as mentioned I want to share from James.
James 3:2-4 says, “We all fail in many areas, but especially with our words. Yet if we’re able to bridle the words we say we are powerful enough to control ourselves in every way, and that means our character is mature and fully developed. Horses have bits and bridles in their mouths so that we can control and guide their large body. And the same with mighty ships, though they are massive and driven by fierce winds, yet they are steered by a tiny rudder at the direction of the person at the helm.”
James, or Jacob (there is no “James” in Greek, so the correct Greek name is Jacob) tells us that the area many people fail is with their words. And to those who can control their tongue? Those are the people who are mature and fully developed! Ultimately someone who can control their tongue is someone who has a healthy heart and mind too. No one will be able to speak words of life if they have no love and truth in their mind and heart.
James 3:5-6 goes on to say, “And so the tongue is a small part of the body yet it carries great power! Just think of how a small flame can set a huge forest ablaze. And the tongue is a fire! It can be compared to the sum total of wickedness and is the most dangerous part of our human body! It corrupts the entire body and is a hellish flame! It releases a fire that can burn throughout the course of human existence.
Wow! We already know that the tongue carries great power and this verse reminds us of that. The tongue, when it speaks death, causes mass destruction, destruction that can burn throughout all human existence and therefore spread from generation to generation. This passage also reminds me of the post I did a few months ago called “The first few moments” where I also mentioned the importance of containing a fire before it spreads. So many of us have lives that look like mass destruction because we have failed to contain the fires around us and within us, including the fires that are coming out of our own mouth.
James 3:7-10 says, “For every wild animal on earth including birds, creeping reptiles, and creatures of the sea and land have all been overpowered and tamed by humans, but the tongue is not able to be tamed. It’s a fickle, unrestrained evil that spews out words full of toxic poison! We use our tongue to praise God our Father and then turn around and curse a person who was made in his very image! Out of the same mouth we pour out words of praise one minute and curses the next. My brothers and sister, this should never be!
Goodness gracious! Does that convict you like it convicts me? Who is guilty of praising God one minute and then spewing out words full of toxic poison the next? You know what is interesting is this verse says that “the tongue is not able to be tamed.” Some translations say “but no human being can tame the tongue.” Does that leave you feeling defeated? Don’t let it.
What James is trying to point out is that although no man can tame the tongue because the tongue can be tamed only by the Spirit. Remember, you have the Holy Spirit living in you and you don’t have to live according to the flesh or yourself, but you have access to live according to the Spirit. I will be talking more about the difference between flesh vs spirit on another blog post.
So, does this passage in James help you understand the importance? Every single word out of your mouth can produce life or death. Your tongue can be used in the most beautiful way, to praise and bless, or it can also be used for the most evil reasons, to curse and speak death. I hope you understand the importance in the power of your words and I hope as you reflect on these verses you realize you can cause generations of destruction with the words you choose or choose to bless, praise and speak life. The choice, as always, is up to you!
PPS. Have you picked up a copy of my book? Buy In Due Time, a 60-day devotional for hope + encouragement in the waiting.
PPPS. I created a group on facebook as an extension of my book + blog to discuss anything + everything. Women only! Come join us!