As the crown jewel of creation, humans have many gifts from God. Speech might be the greatest of all. Think of the fact that everything was created from speech in the first place. Also, you must realize that through speech, the evil one was able to deceive Eve allowing sin to enter the world. We share that same power of creating and destroying things with speech. Let’s look at the various reasons why words are so powerful and how to ensure they are used to serve God.
First, I want to iterate the sort of neutral effects of speech. There was one language in the beginning of time. Thus, the entire human population could work together making them formidable. They decided to build a tower to heaven. The Lord had to divide the language into separate languages to prevent these people from trying to become like God. The Lord Himself had to bridle language. That’s a big indicator of the power of words. Next, think of how man has created countless inventions throughout time to meet needs and desires that arose because of their fall from paradise in Eden. Thoughts and words in our minds lead to inventions. Picture this example:
Back in the late 1800s, on a hot summer day, a farmer was riding down the road in his old, horse-drawn buckboard, taking all day to do what we can now accomplish in a fraction of the time. He thought to himself, “Boy, I wish I had a horseless carriage,” – silent words in his head. He was excited about the idea, and when he got home he took a tablet and wrote out his plan to create the horseless carriage – written words.
From a political standpoint, look at how powerful mainstream and social media are at shaping the opinions of anyone and anything. Napoleon Bonaparte said he feared two newspapers more than 100,000 bayonets. The politician said he didn’t want to begin an argument with someone who bought ink by the barrel. The old axiom states, “The pen is mightier than the sword.”
Now, think of the negatives effects words can have. Ridicule and verbal abuse can hurt impressionable children and young adults permanently. Heated arguments that lead to personal attacks can affect our relationships with people in our lives. False prophets and leaders of other religions lead people astray from the Lord and the Word. Complaining hardens our hearts.
On the other hand, we know words can lift people up and inspire. The message of Jesus Christ, the way, truth and life, was spread by the apostles all over the world. Encouragement gives us the courage to accomplish everything we can in life. One great example is the story of how Billy Graham got saved. A Sunday school teacher had a conversation with a man named Dwight L. Moody in a shoe store. Moody was saved that day and began teaching to me such as Wilbur Chapman. He ministered to Billy Sunday. Billy Sunday ministered to Mordecai Ham and finally Mordecai ministered to a young Billy Graham. These chains of conversations about Jesus led Billy Graham to become a pastor who has reportedly preached the gospel to over 2.2 billion people in his lifetime. As you can see words are tools. Let’s use them to build each other up and expand the kingdom of God.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.