Reflections: The importance of words
There is considerable discussion these days on the relationship of public rhetoric to social conduct. One of the obvious ways man was created in God’s image is his ability to communicate his ideas, thoughts and feelings in precise and unmistakable language. The Bible tells us that God created the universe by His spoken words. “Let There Be.”
It also teaches that He bestowed on man a mysterious and incredible power on his words. For example, here is a verse from Proverbs 18:21: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” This proposition is repeated throughout the Bible and confirmed by personal experiences as well.
There are times we have all wished that we had never said certain things or that we had used different words. Once spoken, the impact of words is not easily changed. We would all be wiser if our words were fewer and chosen more carefully because they affect our relationships more than anything else. We also should give serious thought to the implications of what Jesus said in Matt 12:34-35, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
The Bible gives strong emphasis on the power of God’s words recorded in the Bible as well as our personal confessions of faith. In his epistle to the Romans, the apostle Paul writes in chapter ten, verses nine, “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
The power of words can be demonstrated in the ways we communicate with our love ones. We build a satisfying and happy marriage relationship by constantly affirming our love and loyalty to our spouses with words. We also build character and self confidence in our children by speaking positive words of approval and encouragement.
Another statement Jesus said about words is found in Matt 12:37, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
In view of these things it would seem obvious that a greater emphasis and discipline in the use of appropriate and proper language beginning in public schools would be more productive than merely cramming information into our heads and promoting unrestricted free speech. It would create better classroom control and a better learning environment. After all, free speech ought to have minimal, thoughtful, and common sense qualifications.
May the Lord grant us the wisdom and grace to speak words of goodness, hope, and faith, and to bless others rather than cursing them.
Our words affect our relationships and ultimate happiness. More importantly, words are an accurate reflection of our inner moral and spiritual character.
Pastor Gene Holman of Living Word Fellowship in Gardnerville is a member of Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.