The Power of Your Words
By Pastor J.D. Link
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I encourage you to read Ecc 5:1-7 carefully. Notice how much teaching on the power of our words is mentioned in these few verses. “Don’t give the sacrifice of fools (talk to much), for it is evil… don’t be rash with your mouth… don’t utter things hastily… let thy words be few… a fool’s voice is known by a multitude of words… don’t allow your mouth to cause your flesh to sin… in the multitude is words is emptiness.” God doesn’t waste His words. The Bible mentions the power of our words dozens of times, so we can rest assured it is no small thing, but an important matter with God
Pro 17:27-28 says, “He that hath knowledge spares his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise: and he that shuts his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” Want to be counted wise? Stop talking so much. Nature tells us we should listen at least twice as much as we talk, for we have two ears and one mouth. James 1:19 confirms this, in reminding us to be slow to speak and quick to listen.
Pro 10:19 says, “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking: but he that refrains his lips is wise.” Sin is present where there is much empty talking. A wise man does not partake in it. King David understood this (Ps 17:3, 39:1, 141:3). He said, “I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle… . Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” From these verses, we learn: 1. We can sin with our words, not just our actions. 2. We need to ask the Lord’s help in controlling our tongue.
Pro 21:23 says, “Whosoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” Though we cannot eliminate all trouble from our lives, we can cut back on it considerably if we’ll watch our words. Often our own tongue is our biggest reason for our troubles. Pro 13:3 – “He that keeps his mouth keeps his life: but he that opens wide his lips shall have destruction.”
Death and life are in the power of our tongues (Prv 18:21). We are created in God’s image, in His likeness. He speaks and things are created. He calls those things that be not as though they are. He taught us to speak to our mountains. He gave us tremendous power in our words, and we need to respect it and understand it. Our tongue is a sword, and “weapons training” is essential. Our tongues need to be controlled by The Holy Spirit, because we cannot fully tame it on our own (Jam 3:8). It grieves The Holy Spirit when we allow corrupt communication to come out of our mouths (Eph 4:29-31). We must yield it to Him.
Out of the abundance of our heart, our mouth speaks (Mt 12:34). This is why it is essential for our hearts to be established in grace (Heb 13:9). If our heart’s are full of God’s Word, then that is what will come out. We deceive our heart when we don’t bridle our tongue, and The Bible says our supposed religion is in vain (empty). A good heart will bring forth good fruit (Mt 12:35), so we must understand a mouth problem is most likely a symptom of a heart problem. As our heart is full of God’s Word, our mouth will be, too.
Jesus said that we will give account for every idle word on the day of judgment, and that by our words we will either be justified or condemned (Mt 12:36-37). Obviously this is an important matter to God, so it should be to us as well. Cussing, gossip, back-biting, murmuring, complaining, lying, filthy joking – will all be judged. Even if you think it, at least let it die there; but don’t give voice to it. Words can be apologized for and forgiven, but they cannot be taken back. Once they are out, they are out. You can’t reel them back in.
Our speech is to be with grace, seasoned with salt (Col 4:6). Never compromise the truth, but speak it with a heart motivated by love. Love for Jesus and for other people. Sometimes the truth hurts, but God’s Word says that if we speak, it should be in line with the Word of God (1Pt 4:11). We should rather be hurt with the truth, than coddled with a lie. Let us speak as in the presence of Jesus. Whatever we do in deed – or word – let us do it in the name of Jesus (Col 3:17). Let us ask ourselves, “What would Jesus say? Or, “If I were in His presence (which, in reality, we always are), could I have this conversation, or be saying these things?” If not, let the thought die, and don’t let it out of the mouth. Our words are a powerful force. Let us use them for good, and for God’s glory. Selah.