The Power of Words

James 3:10-12

“From the same mouth come blessing and cursing My brothers, these thing ought not to be so.  Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?  Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs?  Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.”

The human body is remarkable in its ability to endure trauma and then heal over time- though sometimes a scar is left behind to show for it.  Our words also can do damage to a person and though the trauma of harsh words may not leave a visible scar, the time it takes to heal from such damage may take much longer.

Words have power to encourage, restore, and build up as well as tear down, destroy, and hurt.  With such power comes great responsibility.  It takes great effort, patience, and restraint to speak purely encouraging words; just as it takes great planning to build something of importance.  To speak harshly or to tear something down takes but an instant with little thought and reckless reaction.

Pure speech is like fresh water; it is refreshing, brings life, and renews someone who is thirsty.  You also have to seek it out because not all water is fresh.  Malicious words are like salty water; not good for anyone to consume, leaves a bad taste in your mouth looking for something to rinse with, and makes you thirstier than before you started drinking.  The salt water however, is easy to find because it is so available in comparison to the water that is useable.  What’s more it takes but just a drop of salty water to ruin a whole bottle of fresh water.  In the same way, a malicious word can bring down a number of kind words stored up over time.

Point for Prayer:

What kinds of inspiring and encouraging words could you use that have power for your life or for someone else’s life right now?

About John M. Stewart

I am a university administrator, part-time professor, writer, photographer, and a musician. I love live theater, music, hikes in the woods, and walks on the beach. I am a spiritual sojourner. My blog is about this life journey and how my faith impacts and intersects with my life journey. View all posts by John M. Stewart

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