Question: Do words have power?


Walking with Jesus / Monday, June 17th, 2019

Do you believe that words have power?

What a silly question. We’ve all felt the power of words aimed at us, for good or ill. We remember other’s words from years ago, words spoken at critical moments, words that shaped us and our view of ourselves and our course in life. We’ve all regretted our own hasty words, and wished long afterward that we had said less. Or more.

We have known the peculiar power of words whispered in the dark, or screamed across tragedy, or spoken around a death bed. How indelible they are! how they sear into the soul and remain!

But my question still stands. How much power do you believe words have?

Do you think that the words you speak can change things in the world? What about in the heavenly realm?

I am not talking only about prayer, although that is an intrinsic part of the conversation. I am talking also about words spoken between people. I am talking about the hundreds of small ways we bless and curse each other every day, and I am asking how much our declarations impact.

When you say God bless you. May He reward you for your service, what do you mean? Do you believe God will send a special gift to someone in response to your words? Or do you mean that you hope he will keep doing what he’s already doing? Do the words mean anything at all, besides agreeable feelings?

Do you bless others verbally with the gifts you wish for them?

Could you claim people for Christ? Speak His forgiveness of sins? Bring healing to broken places?

Life and death are in the power of the tongue. What does that mean?

I will share more thoughts on this next time. But first, I’d like to hear from you. What thoughts and stories do you have to share? Don’t be shy. I’m not (usually) as loco as I sound.

12 Replies to “Question: Do words have power?”

  1. Yes! Though the power is in God hearing our words. Read about Stephen being stoned this morning and his statement about lay not this sin to their charge. Jesus said similar on the cross. And we know only God has power to forgive sins, yet He requires it of us! His life really in us. Blessing really means that God is present. Curse is His distance… Not denying His omnipresence. That the face of God shine upon you. Sorry I get wordy about exciting things.

  2. My dad said, when I broke my collarbone being reckless, “At least you were out living life.” And then when the doctors asked if my parents wanted to do surgery or just let it grow together crooked, he told me, “If you were a professional athlete, I know what they would do.” Fifteen years later, and I still remember. 😊

  3. Your reuse of the header photo has me wondering if you are going somewhere specific with this?😉
    I have often thought about how our words can bring hope or despair, fear or courage, love or hate… Just by whether they are human centered or God centered.

    1. I’m laughing. Excellent memory! No, this post is entirely unconnected to the previous one. I rarely reuse headers, but off the top of my head I couldn’t remember which post I had used this one for. I had trouble finding an image that paired well with the topic! In some obscure corner of my brain, this seemed to fit. Maybe I’ll change it when I think of a better one. 😊

      1. Hmmm… As a nod to the time-honored (or time-worn) illustration on words for children’s object lessons, you could do a shot of a tube of toothpaste with a hefty string of toothpaste hanging out. 😂 No, just kidding. Your heading is perfectly appropriate. It just triggered my curiosity.😕

  4. Oh I truly believe words have power. I remember some of the mean things children said to me as a child and they haunt me to this day.

    Church leaders who have become unbiblical in their doctrinal teachings can have a huge impact on the church and I know this from experience.

  5. A dying herion addict came to live with us for 9 months before moving on in her journey. Nine years later she is chasing her 1 yr old while visiting us. She gives me a tearful hug and says “Thanks for saving my life and giving me the chance to be a mom.”
    Lots has happened in those 9 years to both of us but now, just maybe, I’ll have the courage to do it one more time.

  6. I believe words have life and death power…exactly that. Words can make you want to live, or die. I had to think of two situations I was in, almost back to back.
    My pastor told me I was a loser and had too many problems to ever prosper. I believed him and was ready to give up everything, even life itself.
    Then my friend’s dad, who is also a pastor, told me that he didn’t know me well at all, but that they cared a lot about me, and wanted me to prosper, and knew God had a purpose for me. Those life-giving words (along with God’s truth) have reverberated through my mind in the years following, helping me want to keep on with God. And to choose to prosper in the things that count for eternity.
    I know I’m not amounting to much in some ways. But I believe the words I speak impact people deeply (some of them anyway, but since I don’t know which ones will, all of them are important) and that in turn impacts their world. I desperately want to speak life to everyone I meet, whether it’s the lady cleaning the airport restrooms, my business clients, or the man who used to be my pastor, if I ever see him again.

  7. In my home growing up my mom taught me the importance of speaking with faith and thankfulness about situations. Not pollyanna glasses but to verbalize faith that God is at work. I needed the reminder tho!

  8. Yes.
    I believe that in some small way we share the creative image of God by which He spoke the world into existence. We don’t speak and see physical things appear before our eyes, but I know that words of insight and faith can plant seeds of hopes and dreams and in time can change the course of a life. Words are sometimes used to pass on visions of what could be; without the vision we don’t know enough to even look that direction, much less move forward. Words sprout life and hope; words cause wilting and death. God has the final word about us and we need to listen attentively to His voice, for ourselves and to pass on to those around us.

  9. Since reading your question, I’ve been thinking about an aspect of “word power” in regards to the speaker of them rather than the recipient of them. As people wired for connection, we are greatly impacted by the ability to express ourselves through words. Could we say that our identity and significance are so closely tied to our expression through words that it is a matter of life and death for us? (Some of us, if we can’t speak or write words, shrivel up and die, anyway!)
    It seems to me that if our identity is in Christ, our expression through words will indeed have the power to bring Life and Truth to a person or situation.

  10. Once we we’re sharing a very hard things that happened to us with a mentor couple. My husband talked about being wounded. She leaned forward and said, “You’re not wounded.” He said, “What?” She repeated it, “You’re not wounded. You’ve been hurt. But that’s not who you are. You are not wounded. You are being healed.”
    Those words changed us. The hard experiences kept happening, but they no longer defined us. We left them not wounded and more healed than we had been before. I definitely believe words have the power to change reality.

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