The Power of the Spoken Word
By Gina Stinson
We’ve all done it. Said something we didn’t mean to say. Whether we said it thoughtlessly or in anger, or even if it was said in jest, it just didn’t come out the way we intended it to. And there were consequences—a friendship hurt, a relationship severed, a spouse’s silence, a child’s tears. Boy, if we’d only thought through the words we said out loud before we said them.
In contrast I’ve also seen the words of an encourager brighten the downhearted, the compliment of a stranger brighten the face of sadness and a kind word mend many fences. Good and pleasant words bring healing and encouragement.
The power of our words is long lasting. I can easily remember the best words I have ever heard spoken to me, as well as the worst words ever said to me. That’s power. I’ve watched the words of a pastor help to heal hurts at funerals. That’s power. I’ve listened as apologies were said and relationships were healed. That’s power. Realizing our words have enormous power helps motivate us to think before we speak. Sometimes when I am tempted to mouth off during a high-stress situation, it helps to remember a scripture, or picture the same thing being said to me. Often I retract the words before they are ever spoken aloud.
A great man of faith recently encouraged my husband. In just minutes I watched as the power of one man’s words spoke life into another man’s soul. After serving for over 40 years in fulltime ministry, this mentor had learned the art of speaking a word in due season. The right word spoken, at the right time, is water to the dry soul or discouragement, loneliness and defeat.
PRAYER: Dear God, help me to be a better communicator with others. Help me understand that Your message is reflected in everything I say and do. Keep me focused on representing You well, speaking words of encouragement to those around me and deepening my understanding of how much power is in my words…because someone is listening!
“A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it,” Proverbs 15:23 KJV.