The Power of Words

(I wrote this for a friend who wanted a manly analogy about how words can wound.) In the Army, when soldiers are trained on at the range, they are told fire their weapons at the chest (heart) or head (mind). These are “kill” shots. I was thinking about how the power of life and death are in our tongue. I want to suggest that “You” statements have such an impact on our heart and minds that they can be kill shots. For example, “You are stupid!” and “You are a liar” are two of these. These shots assassinate the identity of who God created us to be. There is a way for rebuke that can correct without bringing death. Instead of using the above sentences, one could say, “That was a very unwise decision/action” or “Those words are untrue/lies.”

target     Fortunately, the power of life is also in the tongue. If we want to bless someone, using “you” statements will hit the core of their being. “You are beautiful” or “You are an amazing man of integrity” affirm the person’s worth and value the person as God’s treasured creation. So I challenge you to be good stewards of all your words using them for blessing and not cursing.

 

5 thoughts on “The Power of Words

  1. There’s a gift you have in conveying principles, Lynn. I thank God for your insight. Good to know, but I admit that I’ve crossed the line in moments of anger or emotion, mostly with the closest people I love, and have said things which were not always uplifting or a blessing to the hearer.

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    • Your response reminded me of Psalm 130 – If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, who could stand? But you offer forgiveness that we may learn to fear you. …with the Lord there is unfailing love, his redemption overflows

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  2. Recently, a story about a teacher using apples to discuss bullying has been circulating the internet which caused me to think about this same topic. I think to continue the analogy, even if you don’t fire a “kill shot,” what you say will have negative consequences and require healing. It’s frustrating to me as well when it seems most of the people I injure in friendly fire because I’m reckless with my words. If you haven’t heard the apple story yet, here’s a link:

    http://www.danoah.com/2013/11/the-bruised-and-the-beautiful-apple-a-lesson-in-bullying.html

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  3. Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death. Those who love it will eat its fruit. Thank you for this lesson on being good stewards of all your words. Thank you Ashleigh for the apple story. What a powerful reminder for us to be careful of hurting others by the words that we choose to use.
    We recently saw a posting in front of a church which says — Be careful what you think about
    because it may become words. Ephesians 4:29, Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
    This should be our prayer : Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.
    Crystal and Debbie

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  4. Wow! This is powerful! What an analogy! — that words can be as “kill shots”
    I don’t want to “kill” anyone with my careless words. I want to shoot them full of life.

    Again you have challenged me. Your words are aiming more of Jesus’ Live into my soul.

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