Have you ever heard a story of a young child mimicking an adult and an inappropriate word slips out? Yesterday I heard the story of a young man who came home from school recently and told his mom he heard the most awful word ever at school. You can imagine the vocabulary list that ran through the mother’s mind. The young man was mortified and refused to repeat the word when asked. Through some careful investigative work of the mother she learned someone said stupid.
We all laugh and think it’s cute he was mortified by the word stupid, yet we don’t realize the power of words. Words can curse and do harm when spoken over someone. If we hear anything long enough, we begin to believe it, accept it as truth, which shapes how we act.
Our mouths are very powerful weapons we use recklessly on a daily basis. Proverbs 18:21 says “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Obviously, the person who coined “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was not a follower of the Word of God.
Words have the power to hurt. They have the power to destroy.
As believers in Christ, we need to make the same commitment King David made in Psalm 17:3b “I have determined that my mouth will not sin.” The King James version says transgress, which is the Hebrew word avar meaning “to cross over, pass over, penetrate.” It is in reference to a boundary line. “Spiritually speaking, when men move outside the requirements of covenant by committing sin, they transgress.” Simply put, avar means to violate the law of God.
The law of God is very different than the law of the land. It calls us to a higher standard. As believers, we need to sift our language through the Word. A good litmus test is if we wouldn’t say it with Jesus standing beside us, we don’t need to say it at all.
Romans 14:9 says “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Our words need to be life giving words that build others up, not tear them down. We were called to be imitators of Christ [1 Thessalonians 2:14]. Our words need to be words that cause others to notice the difference in us and prompt them to investigate what it is. There investigation should lead them to Jesus.
When our Father tells the angels stories about us and the words we speak, they should bring Him glory. What kind of story will He tell about you?