To Destroy or Save: The Power of Words

Before the beginning of time, the Son was described as the Word (Jn. 1). At the appointed time, the Word was sent to the world to be the embodied revelation of God. As the Son came into the world he was life, grace, and truth. Through the incarnation which was a divine communication–the sharing of the Word–the world knew God, knew grace, knew truth, and knew life. The Word brought all things to be as Creator. God’s Word revealed the beauty of God.

Be careful with your words. Words shape the world around us and even our own thoughts inside us. Your words will condemn you  or bring blessings. Your words will destroy others or build them up. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Prov. 18:21). Our Savior said, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt. 12:36-37). Proverbs 10:14 says, “the wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.” 

James warned us about the power of words when he said, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body” (Js. 3:1-2). James said, “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell” (Js. 3:5-6). 

Even though words can be destructive, our words can also be incredibly beneficial. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord to whom shall we go? You alone have the words of life” (Jn. 6:68). In 1 John 1:1, Jesus was described as “the word of life.” The positive power of our words is best seen in God’s plan for preaching. Paul said “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ” and “but how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:17, 15). What does a preacher do? He takes God’s word and uses his own words to echo that word. Through words, then, God planned to spread the Gospel, save sinners, and nurture his church. 

What will your words do? You can build or destroy. You can save or condemn. Use your words for good. Build others up. Bid sinners come. Bless the name of your God. 

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