We use them to communicate. They are all around us, planting ideas in our minds, telling us who we are and what to believe. They’re in the books we read and in the music we listen to. We read them, speak them and write them. They are words. They make up a great deal of our lives.
Words have power in them.
My Mom taught me this at a young age. I’ve witnessed my Mom do this beautiful thing with her kids. She speaks truth over us.
I remember when I was younger and I was still figuring out who I was. My Mom would tell me who I was and graciously remind me who Yehovah says I am. She said to me “Lydia. You are loved. You are safe.” Those two words I remember her telling me the most. Loved and safe. Probably because I needed to be reminded of those two things often.
I remember when I was in school that I struggled a lot with math. I constantly got frustrated with myself because I couldn’t grasp concepts that my siblings were easily understanding. I felt stuck. I remember telling my mom, “I’m just stupid.” But she didn’t let me believe that. She would say to me, “No, you’re not. You are smart.” And she would keep telling me that until she knew I believed it.
I was a handful as a child. I would pester my siblings a lot, which would cause fights with my siblings. I was very hyper and often unkind. I remember getting disciplined often. I WANTED to do what was right but I still did what was wrong. When my Mom talked to me, she would tell me things like, “Lydia, you are a kind girl. Why are you being unkind to your siblings?” When I was insecure in who I was, my Mom would remind me who I was.
Even in my teenage years I remember her doing this.
I was struggling again. It often feels like I struggle with the same thing over and over. Does anyone else ever feel like this? I was being unkind and believing lies that I let inside my head. My Mom told me “Lydia, if you are an example of Yeshua, than you have to be what He is. Yeshua is love, so you must be love. He is kind, so you must be kind.” As I got older, she taught me different things that I wouldn’t have been able to understand at a younger age. She taught me that if I was called to be like Yeshua, than I must be what He is. If I don’t act like Yeshua, than how am I supposed to be an example of Him?
It was then that I realized that who I am is found in the One who created me.
One of the biggest things I struggle with is believing lies. That I’m not good enough, unequipped, and worthless. These are all negative things that I have been guilty of speaking to myself. I have allowed these lies to enter in my mind. The longer I continue to speak these lies to myself, the longer they sit in my mind and rule over my thoughts and actions.
My Mom taught me the power of words. She showed me by speaking life over me. My words have the power of life or death. I have the power by the choice of words I use to speak. My tone of voice also matters just as much as the words I use.
It’s not always what you say but how you say it.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.
~ Proverbs 18:21
Complaining and negative words = death
Praising and positive words = life
Look at how our Creator, Yehovah used His words to create life. I believe He set an example at the beginning of creation. He spoke and it was.
My words can have a similar affect in that what comes out of my mouth can affect the people around me. When I complain, I not only make myself miserable but those around me miserable as well. This is “speaking death”. When I use my voice to say negative things, it only brings myself and others down. When I babble nonsense or say things that are unkind are also ways I may speak death. My words and actions don’t only affect me.
The words I say to others have power in them.
When I use my words to encourage others, they bring life to those around me. When I make compliments, praise someone for something they did, write an encouraging note for someone, and even simply saying ‘thank you’. This is “speaking life”. These are just a few examples, but there many different ways to speak life and death.
Keep in mind that the words I choose and my tone of voice are very important when speaking life. Sarcasm, in my opinion, is something I often see as negative. I think we all have to be very cautious when using sarcasm. Jokes are also something I try to be cautious with, because they can hurt people’s feelings sometimes. I have seen people get hurt and even experienced getting hurt myself.
There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health.
The truthful lip shall be established forever,
But a lying tongue is but for a moment.
~ Proverbs 12:18-19
The things my Mom said to me when I was younger are truths that I still carry around in me now as an adult.
The thoughts in my head have the same power as the words I say. If I tell myself in my thoughts that I am worthless, it’s almost the same as if i were saying it out loud with my mouth. This is how I often catch myself speaking death to myself. Why is it easier to speak life to others but not to ourselves?
How do I speak truth to myself? Through Scripture. This is where the truth is. I copy a lot of Scripture and memorize it constantly. My goal is to fill myself up with so much truth that there is no room in my head for any lies. This is how I “speak life” to myself.
What if we treated the words we say like a hot baking pan we just pulled out of the oven? We are careful and cautious with the pan, protecting ourselves from any harm it may give us or others by wearing a glove or oven mitten while carrying the pan. The pan can hurt us, if we are not careful. But if we are careful, and the food also was prepared well in the pan, than it will feed us and those around us. Okay, so maybe this picture may be a little out of the box, but think about it.
I know I am far from perfect. I struggle often specifically with my tone and volume of my voice when speaking. I see this as an area of my life that Yehovah is using to teach and shape me.
What would happen if you and I did this? If we constantly spoke truth to everyone around us and even ourselves? To the one who feels like they will never be enough. To the one who forgets who they are in Yehovah. To the one who is going through a hard time and doubting their faith.
What if we didn’t just SPEAK truth, but also LIVE truth through our actions?
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
~ Ephesians 4:29
May we speak truth and life to all of those around us.