Shabat Thoughts - Word Power

"You is smart, you is pretty, you is kind...."  This line from the book/movie 'The Help' has been echoing in my head today.  John often did much the same over our children: "You are smart.  You are handsome.  You are pretty.  You are intelligent."  He believes above all things that what he speaks over our children will be manifested in them.

He often cautioned me to be more careful of the words I spoke.  As a new Christian, I studied my Bible and I became more and more aware of why:

Proverbs 12:18  The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (NIV)

 Matt 15:18, But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.(ESV)

These are just a few of the verses that deal with the power of the spoken word.  Words are considered such a magnificent source of power that the Bible tells us God SPOKE the world into existence.  And when John wrote his book about the life of Christ, he begins it simply enough with these words:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.(NLT)

I suppose we all remember that old school yard comeback about words:  Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me... I suppose it was meant to make us more thick skinned.

Words spoken over me as a child went soul deep and became the very building blocks upon which I made decisions and  life choices.  Some of those building blocks were firm foundation stones and some crumbled like sand and shifted so that every thing I tried to build crumbled to the ground as well.  Unfortunately it wasn't always a stranger or enemy who spoke those hurtful words.  I suppose everyone takes words spoken by a loved one to heart.

After many years of struggling, I became a Christian and then I began to see the power of words.  And when I saw their power, I began to respect the value of what could be done with them.  The most powerful words ever spoken over us were spoken by God Himself.

I shall never forget the thrill that went through my Spirit when I first read these words in Jeremiah:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you...

Those words went deep into my heart when I first read them.  The God who knew Jeremiah, who had a plan for his life, was also my God.  He had a plan for me as well.

There are many pastors who will tell you that such words are not meant for us.  They were meant for one individual and that one only and for a special purpose.  But if you begin to read the Bible you will soon understand that those words, those ancient words, are indeed meant for you, for me, for us.  It is the very best love letter ever written to every individual upon the face of this earth.  True there are warnings and admonitions and yes, those too are meant for us.  Every word written is the loving word of a father for his child, a father who plainly sees our faults and our attributes.  A father who loves us deeply despite his complete knowledge of us.  A father who wants the very best for his child.

We should be like the Father.  Our words should be spoken carefully to warn, to strengthen, to heal, to show love and respect and honor to all. 


gramma D said...

Words have as much power to hurt as sticks and stones. Too many people are living who they were told they were as children,by people who thought that they were doing no harm because they were not physically abusing a child. Tell a child they are fat,dumb, homely and that is how they will see themselves, sometimes for the rest of their lives. We had no money growing up but lots of encouragement. How lucky I was.

Karla Neese said...

What a wonderful word you've shared about words! This has been a difficult lesson for me to learn. Like you, I had many words spoken over me as a child that went deep - some good, some bad. I grew up in a home where you said what you felt even if you knew it was hurtful. It took years for God to undo that in me but I believe He and I have finally conquered it for the most part. Friends and aquaintances find that I'm a lot quieter than I used to be even a few years ago. And that's because I find it best to stay quiet if my immediate thought is not kind. Better to bite the tongue off than to bite another's soul.

Thank you for sharing this reminder.

This Week In My Home: Light Ahead

In my home this week... ... there is light up ahead of us.  I feel it more than I can see it.  That same sense of something changing tha...