Author: Pastor Robin Tyner
We are a nation of talkers. And yet, do we understand the power of our words? In a culture dominated by the abundance of text messages, tweets, and status updates, it’s clear we’re in desperate need to have a biblical understanding of the power of our words.
Many Christians have never considered the incredible impact their words can have on other people. God has created us to be expressive beings, and the Bible tells us “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). Encouragement often comes through spoken words, “How good is a timely word!” (Proverbs 15:23). So does discouragement, “Reckless words pierce like a sword” (Proverbs 12:18).
Jesus reminds us that our words originate from inside our hearts: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). The apostle Paul cautions us to speak only words that benefit others; “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).
Our words are powerful things. The significance of words is that they will be used to gauge a person’s spiritual condition in the judgment. Jesus said, “For by your words you will be acquitted, and by you words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:37).
It’s impossible to overstate the power, and eternal impact, of our spoken and written words, for good or evil. A wise man said, “Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate, ask yourself, “Is it true?” At the second gate ask, “Is it necessary?” At the third gate ask, “Is it kind?”
Many years ago, I began saying a prayer I composed and this is what I pray every morning, “Lord, I pray this day, and every day, you will set a guard at my lips. May what I say be good and helpful, encouraging and affirming.
May my words be true, kind, and necessary, and add value to others, and be beneficial. Help me to listen well. Ask good questions, and give apt replies and timely words, and speak with wisdom, tact, discernment and insight. Amen.”
Try writing a similar prayer for yourself and commit to praying it every day for a week. Pay attention to how God honors your prayer.
My prayer for you is Psalm 20:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”