Words are powerful. When we communicate with one another, we are choosing to enter into relationship. Whether it be a mere interaction or an ongoing pursuit. For those short minutes or the long decades to follow, our soul is changed by the moments we share. When we communicate, we are not submitting to an authority in one another, we are participating in relationship. Just as if we are driving our car on the freeway. As you drive along, you turn on your blinker, not to ask permission of the other drivers but to prevent collision.
I understand that everyone is different, but as I remember interactions over the years, it is the words spoken that I remember the most. What I said. What others said to me. Without any effort, a simple memory will bring entire conversations flooding back. With it, will come feelings of hope and affirmation or pain and embarrassment. Regardless of the intention behind what was said, you and I receive and interpret and store words all day long. How we give and receive communication shapes the people we are and continue to grow into.
With the spoken word, covenants are entered into. Sentences are handed down. Relationships begin or end. Life or death are agreed upon. Each and every word that is spoken has power because we were made to exchange information and be in relationship. God gave speech to the mouth so that we would have the ability to interact and proclaim His greatness.
In Deuteronomy 11, God gives instructions along with His words for the people of Israel. He tells them what they are to do.
8 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children,talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates…
God spoke words because they had purpose. He was careful and intentional. God intended to be in relationship with the people He created and He was also setting a standard of communication for each one of us. We are instructed to use the words that God has given us to bring Him glory. To bless one another. To grow closer in godliness.
Here are some things to think about as we communicate with one another. As we handle different situations that arise in our relationships. And, even as we approach conflict.
1. The words of God are the only ones we are to fix on, to teach to one another, and to allow ourselves to be shaped by. While other thoughts may be beneficial, positive, and encouraging, only God’s words are life- giving and eternal. (Isaiah 40:7; 1 Peter 1:23-25)
2. We are instructed to speak gracious words that are necessary for the moment. (Proverbs 16:24; Ephesians 4:29-32)
3. When we have angry words or harsh tones, we must first check our own hearts. Angry words and harsh tones are an indication of a greater need. A picture of our relationship with God. (Proverbs 15; Luke 6:43-45)
4. When we are speaking, we need to remember each word is important. Each word has meaning beyond the definition. God instructs us to be slow to speak. To be careful. (James 1:19; Ecclesiastes 5:2-4)
5. We should take every opportunity we have to speak blessing and to testify God’s glory. (Colossians 4:5-6)
Words are an opportunity. Each time we communicate with someone, we are given the opportunity to show them a part of God’s character. Even in the most mundane moment, God can be proclaimed.
I encourage you today, to think about the conversation you just had. The words that were just spoken. Or maybe, something was said yesterday that you really need to go apologize for. There was an missed opportunity to bless someone. Why don’t you go back? Ask God to give you HIS words to speak. HIS blessing to share. HIS forgiveness to heal.
Each word. Speak life.