I’m sure you’ve heard the cliche “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Think about this, however: a thousand words can create an amazing picture. There is no finer example of creating something with words than the Bible. The Book of Genesis puts us at the very edge of eternity, at the moment God created the Heavens and Earth out of vast nothingness. All you could see and all you could not see was a bottomless emptiness. An inky blackness. Interpretations differ as to precisely what this means, but taking the phrase “without form, and void” at face value, it seems to indicate that the Earth began its planetary life as an unformed, chaotic mass of material.
God spoke, “Light!” and light appeared. He said, “Sky! In the middle of the waters, separate water from water!” He made sky with His words. He separated the water under the sky from the water above the sky. He said, “Water beneath heaven, gather into one place. Land appear. Earth, grow all varieties of seed-bearing plants; every sort of fruit-bearing tree.” Then He said, “Swarm, ocean, with fish and all sea life. Birds, fly through the sky over Earth.” God spoke, “Earth, generate life! Every sort and kind: cattle and reptiles and wild animals, all kinds!”
Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, and cast out demons by speaking. He pardoned all of humanity as He hung dying on the cross when he spoke the words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (See Luke 23:34)
James 3:5-8 says, “So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.”
Of all the creatures on this planet, only man has the ability to communicate through the spoken word. The power to use words is a unique and powerful gift from God.Words do more than convey information. The power of our words can actually destroy one’s spirit, even stir up hatred and violence. Consider for a moment the long-term negative impact a father’s constant putdowns can have on his son. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Not only do words exacerbate wounds, they inflict them directly. Are we using words to build people up or destroy them? Are they filled with hate or love, bitterness or blessing, complaining or compliments, lust or love, victory or defeat? Hope or despair? Like tools, words can be used to help us reach our goals or to send us spiraling into a deep depression. Words are so important that we are going to give an account of what we say when we stand before the Lord Jesus Christ. (See Matthew 12:36-37)
Jesus reminds us that the words we speak are actually the overflow of our hearts. (See Matthew 12:34-35) When we become a Christian, there is a change of heart. Naturally, there is an expectancy that a change of speech follows. The sinner’s mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. (See Romans 3:14) When we turn our lives over to Christ, we gladly confess that Jesus is Lord. As believers, our mouths are opened to praise and glorify God. (See Romans 15:6) Before we were saved, we lived in spiritual death. Paul describes those who are dead in sin in Romans 3:13, where he writes, “Their throats are open graves.” When we have love and hope and joy in our hearts, our words are full of blessing. So if we fill our hearts with the love of Christ, we increase the odds that truth and purity will come out of our mouths.
The words we speak hold power. Power to create new possibilities or to close them down. Power to build relationships or to damage them. Power to lift people up or to pull them down. We often don’t realize the impact our words have on ourselves and others. If we did, we’d do far less complaining! You also would never hear yourself saying things like It’s impossible, I’m totally hopeless, I had no choice. Such statements do nothing but undermine and complicate your situation. Psychologists have found that our subconscious mind interprets what it hears very literally. The words that come out of your mouth serve to create the reality you inhabit, whether good or bad. Unfortunately, it is more common that we unconsciously sabotage our success by using language that undermines our opinions, amplifies our problems, and chips away at our confidence.
Whenever we moan or complain about our lives to others, we are putting those negative words out there to become a reality. When you say something out loud enough times, your words become the truth, not only in your own mind, but in the minds of everyone who hears you saying them. If this is really so then ask yourself, Do you really want to admit to yourself and everybody you know that you are unlucky in love, unsuccessful at your career, miserable, or a failure? Your words are creating the life you live. Begin to choose carefully the words you speak. Practice improved self-awareness over the words you use to describe yourself and your life. It would be wise to avoid negative, powerless words such as can’t, shouldn’t, impossible, won’t. They strip you of your ability to manifest the life you want to live. I can’t believe how many times I’ve caught myself saying I’m an idiot, or that things will never get better.
What you say goes. Therefore, when you catch yourself thinking negatively, redirect yourself. Don’t say, “I am unhealthy and overweight.” Turn this into a positive, constructive statement, such as, “I am in the process of becoming healthier, and every day I get closer to my ideal weight.” It important for you to believe this is not merely a question of semantics. Words paint your reality. Choose them wisely. The next time you open your mouth to complain, or put yourself or others down, ask yourself, “Why am I about to say this?” How is this statement going to serve me or my happiness?” Most importantly, you will realize that buying into these fears will do nothing for your happiness. Negative words can only make you feel worse, ultimately manifesting negative consequences in your life.