Words are powerful.
Words once spoken they can never be taken back. For that reason, they were meant to last. We were created in the image of a God who SPOKE things into being– when He spoke, power was released into the atmosphere and transformation occurred.
As His children, we inherited that same power to speak and make a lasting impact with our words. We were created with the ability to bring life, hope and freedom with our words in the lives of others.
With this truth in mind, however, we also have the ability to break trust, to tear down, and to breed apathy with words that are never followed with actions.
When we speak thoughtlessly and casually on a regular basis, our words begin to become meaningless and weightless and we mar our reputation as Christians.
“The tongue has the power of life and death.” Proverbs 18:21
I want my words to matter. I want my words to carry weight, to be trusted, and to impact hearts, lives and circumstances. I want my words to be filled to the brim with integrity in all settings and circumstances: that actions would consistently follow my words.
But not just in my context of “ministry”. Even in the everyday little moments with my kids, I am challenged to honor the power of words.
When my son says, “Mommy, come look at the train tracks I built!!!”, and I reply with, “I’m coming!!”, yet tarry for five minutes while I finish my task at hand, I am taking weight out of my words, and teaching my kids that it is okay say one thing and yet do another. Teaching them that it’s okay to treat words casually.
When my daughter asks me if she can hold her baby sister, and I quickly reply “sure, sweetie”…then forget and continue on with my current project, I teach her that what I say, I don’t mean. I teach her that it’s okay to just say “yes” with no intention of following through.
They are listening. Our children hear what we say, and they see what we do. They are watching and waiting to be led into truth, into integrity and fullness of life. Their open hearts are looking for examples of purity, honesty and authenticity that they can confidently follow.
This reality drives me to my knees and makes me so aware of my need for God to touch my lips with a burning ember from His holy throne of grace. But oh, how I want my lips to be a doorway of hope, healing and truth; a door through which grace and freedom is imparted to everyone I encounter, to everyone with whom I speak.
“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3
This kind of integrity of the mouth requires intentionality, courage and discipline. But when we have learned to steward our words, the impact that will be released through our lips for healing, restoration and light in our dark world will be unmatched.