Remember the story in the Old Testament of the tower of Babel? Quite an amazing thing happened. It was a building project that God stopped because they were so arrogant and self-reliant. I think we all recognize that we still have that problem today: arrogance and self-reliance. Isn’t is amazing how God stopped them. He stopped the project by taking away their most powerful tool. He didn’t take away their hammer, He didn’t take away their chisels. He took away their words – their ability to communicate. That is the most powerful tool that we have in any community – words. James 3:5 says, the tongue is small but powerful. You can use words to build. You can use words to tear down.
When I was a child we used to say,“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me.” Is that the biggest lie of all time? Words can do great damage to other people. Or you can use words to build another person’s life. Words are an amazingly powerful tool in building a community, any community … your family, your friends, your church. I think it is important to remember, especially since we are emphasizing community during our 40 Days of Lent, that you have the power to change somebody’s life with a word this week. We need to use the most powerful tool God has given us with care and thoughtfulness. But we need to use it.
Do you agree with my thoughts?
Do we make the mistake of underestimating the power of our words on others?
Do you know of any other verses that talk about the power our words have on other people?
I definitely agree that the words we use are very powerful. Both the words of encouragement, and those of criticism, can stay in your memory for a long time. The verse that came to my mind is Ephesians 4:29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those that listen.” The area where I have to be most careful with my words is with my kids. I love to build them up, but at the same time, there are many times when I need to bite my tongue, when they are pushing my buttons!
Yes, really good verse and a solemn reminder of why we should be careful with what we say.
I thought of the verses in Matt.12:36.37 Jesus is speaking and says, “Every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgement. For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.”