The power of our words, and the might of our tongue.

Words have power. They can lift one’s spirit, encourage, offer hope, praise, and acclaim. They can inspire, stir emotions, sooth, feed the soul, bolster confidence, heal and forgive. Like the color and hues of a rainbow awash over a sky after the storm, they can comfort, replenish the soul.

But, they can also hurt, and be as cutting and sharp as a knife, more damaging to one emotionally than a sword, physically.

Once said, they are not easily forgotten. Once written, or posted they are not retractable, and can only be deleted. Like a picture, words and the image they create are out there, and its effects, good or bad remain with those it hurt or helped.  Intentional or not, they will be remembered, often destroying friendships, relationships, causing confusion or misunderstanding. And to hit or miss with words as they are spoken or written is risky if one values their reputation or respect.

None of us are perfect, so therefore neither is our tongue tamed, or trained to prevent words fired off in anger, frustration, or sarcasm and will always find a projected target somewhere. They will get the brunt of what is said or written. If honest enough, everyone can admit to showing anger, firing hurtful words or admonition to those in our past. It can  leave one with regret, having said them. I am guilty of this. Is anyone else? God is always forgiving of what we have said, or done. But, people are sometimes not. The memory of things said runs deep. The offense is taken, and the wound can still fester. It may be their problem if they do not forgive, but it is ours if we do not learn from it.

Whether it be a politician using slander and criticism, or spinning or twisting the truth to gain votes or points, all and everyone can have a motive for spitting fire from their tongue, or writing or posting with the intent of hurting another. I have seen plenty of this on social networks. The anger, words, disdain is there for whomever it was, or was not directed.

A passage in Isaiah 55:10 (NIV) says; “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

With this in mind, I hope the words from my mouth and the words written by my hand will be used to bless those, not curse them, encourage them, not depress them, lift them up, not tear them down. In that sense, I think we all can agree we are either a work in progress, or just choose to ignore what is written by God, himself.

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Posted September 15, 2012 by Joyce in Devotional, Essays, Faith, Writing

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