Words Have A Power All Their Own
According to what I’ve read and heard, the average adult in our society speaks or writes about 30,000 words in the course of a typical day. That might seem like a large number, and I admit that I have no way to prove or disprove this theory. However, if that figure is anywhere close to being true, on a personal level, I wonder, “How many of those words are necessary and appropriate?”
In view of this, some of you might recall how David concluded Psalm 19 with a prayer asking, “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Or maybe what Paul states about words in Ephesians 4:29. “Try not to allow any unwholesome word to proceed from your mouth, but only the type of word that would be good for encouraging and building up one another according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
Also, Proverbs 10:19–20 warns us, “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise. The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver; the heart of the wicked is worth little.”
These passages provide us with an “inspired challenge” to the question about the value and essence of what we say. An article, entitled The Creative Power of Words, written by a famous author from many years ago named Wilferd Peterson makes some interesting comments, “Soft words sung in a lullaby will put a babe to sleep. Excited words will stir a mob to violence. Eloquent words will send armies marching into the face of death. Encouraging words will fan to flame a genius of a Rembrandt or a Lincoln. Powerful words will mold the public mind as the sculptor molds his clay. Words, spoken or written are a dynamic force. Writing about Napolean and his Italian campaign, someone has suggested, “Half of what he (Napolean) achieved was achieved by the power of his words.’ Words are the swords we use in our battle for success and happiness. How others react toward us depends, in large measure, upon the words we speak to them. Life is a great whispering gallery that sends back echoes of the words we send out! Our words are immortal, too. They go marching through the years in the lives of all those with whom we come in contact. So, when you speak, when you write, remember the creative power of words.”
These comments from this article are very convicting to me because so much of what I do revolves around the need to communicate. In addition to that, let’s realize how the art of communicating is constantly changing and in our culture/society today, it seems as if many of our modes and methods for expressing our thoughts, ideas, perspectives, and opinions have been hijacked by technology and social media. People depend on sound bites, short blurbs, words and letters on a screen, memes, and video messaging where facial expressions, body language, and emotions can be “lost in the translation.”
Yet the truth remains that we should never deny the fact that the art of communicating is essential to every one of us and therefore, it might be a good idea for most all of us to stop and think about the influence of our words, no matter what means we use to communicate what we want to say.
In writing this, I also recognize that with the amount of information that each of us has to absorb each day, it’s possible that very few people will read this. My prayer is that God will use it in some way to remind each of us about the power of our words. They matter to God and they should matter to us as we try to honor Him!
As always, with prayer for God’s glory and praise for His grace, Pastor Greg