These days, I hear words come out of the mouths of some people that literally make me shudder. Sometimes it’s so bad, I wonder if I shouldn’t move a few extra steps away. Just in case lightening strikes! Here are just a few examples:
- I’m dead!
- I love you/him/her/them to death!
- I died laughing!
- I’m gonna kill you!
- I hate you!
I could go on and on but you get the idea, right?
Why Are Words So Important?
One of my favorite verses of Scripture comes from Proverbs 18:21, which says, Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
There are power in our words. But it’s not some mystic, new age gumbo. It doesn’t even really have anything to do with us. It all started back in the book of Genesis with all the times “God said”. He said, and there was light. He said again and there was the heaven and the earth and seas. Then He spoke again and all manner of greenery sprung up, and then a few more words brought the sun, moon and stars. He finished off His great creation by speaking the animals, creatures on the earth and in the seas, into being.
The next thing He said is simply amazing to me! Let’s look…
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: (Genesis 1:26)
There’s a LOT of information in those few words! Maybe you missed it all these years. It’s the thing that makes that Scripture from Proverbs jump to life, right off the very pages.
In God’s Image, In His Words
If you look at the whole of creation, first of all, you’ll notice that God spoke it all into being. But…when it came to creating mankind, that’s when He changed things up a bit. When he decided to make man, He used HIS OWN Hands! Fashioning Adam from the dust of the earth, a creation from His Own creation. No, He didn’t just speak man to life…He FORMED him!
Furthermore, after He had formed the man, He breathed His OWN breath into the nostrils to create life for the very first time. And so mankind came to be of God’s own essence. I don’t know how much more powerful the story can be, but it goes on.
Most people think to be formed in God’s image is to look like a human. But that’s not the whole story. We not only look like God in bodily form, as Jesus did when He walked the earth, but we resemble Him in personality too. It’s like how, your children might have your eye and hair color and their nose or fingers might be shaped like yours. But there’s something else about your kids…they can take on your mannerisms as well.
If God spoke things into being, and then went on to put clues throughout the Bible that words are powerful, then we must have a hint of that in us too! Of course, we can’t do exactly what He did, but there are repercussions to the words we say, simply because we are HIS. And the Bible says a lot about that as well.
The Power of the Blessing
Throughout the book of Genesis, there is great power in the “Blessing”. In fact, the first blessing was in Genesis 1:22. And God blessed them saying… and so it begins, that the spoken word is incredibly important.
But He took it a step further when, in Genesis 12:3, he said to Abram (whose name would later be changed to Abraham), And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Strong’s concordance translates the same word, used here as “bless” (barak), as “salute”, “praise” or “congratulate”.
In essence, what you say will come back to you. It’s still in effect today, though people go on about there daily lives as if it doesn’t. God’s Word doesn’t change, because HE doesn’t change. Malachi 3:6 reminds us, I am the Lord, I change not. When we randomly speak things, we’re not just mixing English words around in different contexts for the fun of it. We are releasing little bits of power into the air, and you can bet there will be some effect, somewhere down the line.
The blessing, in ancient Bible times was so important that Jacob actually went to great lengths to steal his brother Esau’s birthright, which was the blessing. When Esau found out about it, he begged his father Isaac to speak another blessing. He cried and pleaded and finally decided he would try to hill his brother for this horrible thing he had done.
The blessing was powerful. Funny thing is, nothing changed.
Into the New Testament
Jesus knew how important words were and are. In fact, in Matthew 12:36, He said, But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. He was trying to drive home the fact that words don’t weigh lightly. They mean something!
Paul issued a warning as well, in Romans 12:14 – Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. It was so important, he said it twice, and sealed it by saying NOT to curse. He didn’t explain himself. Maybe he felt like he wouldn’t have to, and maybe he didn’t for those who lived in that day and age with him. Maybe they still knew what many have since forgotten: there is power in the spoken word!
The spoken word was so important that God chose the tongue as an evidence of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:4). In James 3:8, we find the irrefutable truth, But the tongue can no man tame; it is an untruly evil, full of deadly poison. What better way then, to reveal the power of God, through the Holy Ghost, than by the bridling of the tongue…something no man can do?
While teaching about prayer, Jesus said, For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. (Mark 11:23). Why would Jesus make it a priority to point out that those praying should “say” those things?
Because words mean things.
What are YOU saying?