In my podcast this week, I talked about having fun with words and using our words to bless others. I felt as I came to this blog post I needed to be clear about a couple points. Some people in the Church today have wandered into some New Age beliefs and have changed what the Bible means when it talks about our words. They have moved into the beliefs of The Law of Attraction and believe we can control the universe with our words and attract things to ourselves. Our words have the same creative power as God’s words had at creation in their belief. The Bible does not teach that. Yes, our words have power to encourage, to build up a person or tear them down, to help or to hurt. Our words and beliefs can cause us to be our own worst enemy and even sabotage ourselves with self-fulfilling prophecies as they are called in psychology. However, we cannot carry these things too far into believing we control the universe or can create with our words. We are not God or gods. These are mystical and New Age beliefs, and we need to hold on to Biblical truth and not add to it with these beliefs.
Second, our words reveal our hearts. As we see in Matthew 15, our words defile us, they show the sin that we may be trying to hide, but it comes out in our words which is a revelation of our attitudes and unforgiveness. When we find ourselves responding to something someone says with a snarky, hateful tone, we need to stop and check our hearts. I usually find unforgiveness or hurt when I hear the snark come out in my tone and attitude even when I didn’t realize it was there before. It is a red flag, and I try immediately to take it to God in prayer.
I’ve also found that the use of “course language” as the King James calls it often reveals hidden anger or insecurity. For me, letting certain words slip usually means I’m trying to hide frustration about something. My heart is revealed, and I find something I need to deal with rather than ignore.
In the same way, if we truly listen to what our children or what others say and how they say it, we can hear their hearts. We can understand their pain and discern their feelings. If we truly love others and want to help our children grow in their faith, this kind of listening can help us zero in on their true needs. Then we can help them deal with their hurt, anger, unresolved frustration, or unforgiveness.
So, our words do have power—the power to reveal our hearts, our feelings, our fears, worship, and dreams. Our words build up or tear down the hearts of others. Our words create trust and friendship and show love. May we learn to use them wisely and in God-honoring ways.
Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips. (Psalm 141:3, NLT)