28 October 2011

The Power of Words... by Brendan Wright

When God created man, he equipped him with incredible tools. All were instilled to make him more like God and to bring glory to the Creator. Each tool, each gift, was bursting with potential for good. One gift with great clout was the ability of speech, enabling men to praise God and encourage others. Great leaders, the men who motivate and inspire others, are often great orators. Words have power. Unfortunately, after the fall, these God-given tools along with their masters became double-edged, able to do as much harm as good. The mouth began to blaspheme, discourage and hurt others. Hitler stirred and fired the hearts of the German people to fight for their “Fatherland” through amazing speeches. Words should not be used lightly. To rightly use this God-given gift, it is critical to know just what words can do: the tongue has the ability to link societies, cause change and affect others.

Not long after the Flood, men forgot who saved their ancestor Noah and disobeyed his commandment to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (Gen. 9:1). Rather, they congregated on a great plain in Shinar and built a city. This city quickly grew, fueled by the efforts of a people sharing language and culture, laboring to make a name for themselves. Pride wormed its way into their hearts, replacing the previous self-preservation instinct. They decided to build a tower to reach Heaven and God himself on their terms, not God’s. They just about succeeded when their sins caught up with them. God judged them: he confused their language; he destroyed their community; their work was thrown into disarray. Unable to communicate, they dispersed, grudgingly obeying the Lord’s commandment and leaving their tower unfinished (Gen.11:1-9). Good communication is essential for any government or infrastructure. When God confused the peoples’ speech, he rendered their work futile. After being able to work together seamlessly, a language barrier proved devastating.

Words achieve. They have effect, stirring hearts and lifting spirits. They convert angry rabbles into attentive audiences. Words tip the scales causing certain politicians’ reputations to rise while others’ fall. Rebellions, revolutions and coup-d’états are spear-headed by well-prepared speeches. After Solomon’s death, his son inherited the throne. Instead of aiding the hard pressed, he divided his kingdom through foolish speech (1 Kings 12:1-20). Friends are frequently found through what we say just as rash words often nurture new nemeses.

Relationships grow and change via conversation. For example, four words, will-you-marry-me, is a known relationship-starter-changer. We encourage others through positive comments and compliments; at the same time we can easily dismantle confidence through thoughtless remarks. How amazing and sobering that the fallible are given power to alter, for better or worse, others’ lives. Once said, words can never be erased. Those cruel commentaries often haunt people for years, whereas a simple “Well done!” bolsters spirit.

We should not trifle with the tongue. Words affect others, causing transformation and are essential for well-working societies. Words have power. Word wielders must be prudent in what language exits their mouths. The Bible clearly warns that the tongue is incredibly potent: the tongue sets even large forests ablaze with a tiny flame (James 3:5). Yet words are incredible gifts, God-given, to make men more like him, permit them to praise his name and exhort others. Christians are challenged to use their tongue justly and honorably, that they might not be ashamed of what they said when some day, they stand before Christ (Matthew 12:37).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Stop in for a chat! I love to hear what you have to say ~


Related Posts with Thumbnails