The Power of Words

I had the joy of talking to Anne Sloan today, as I am trying to spend more time learning what God has been teaching others. She is a dynamic woman who has served the community of Fayetteville for years through ministries like Second Mile Ministry at UBC, feeding and clothing the poor.

She has been on a faith journey for a while now. God spoke to her to stop taking some prescription medications that she had been on for some time, and she has been on a long road to learning more and more about a healthy lifestyle, healthy foods, based on many natural aspects and the Bible. We talked a lot about that, which may be the point of a future post, as her testimony of faith is just remarkable, but she also said something that I wanted to share here now.


She talked about the power of words–how Proverbs 18:21 teaches us the tongue has the power of life and death. Most people don’t think of it that way, but our words can truly carry life through encouragement and edification, which is what we are commanded to be about, or they can carry death, through discouragement and hate. Her words reminded me of other verses that are often spoken but rarely obeyed and lived:

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:29-32

And, as Anne and I talked, I realized something. Actually, I can say that God spoke to me this: We can teach as much or more by listening than we can by talking. Wow!

Anyway, that is a bit off subject as I wanted to write about the power of our words. Whereas no man can control the raging fire that is our tongue, we can humbly surrender our tongue to God to use for His glory and purpose, obeying His Word, like those quoted above, as we speak and share with others.

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