I don’t know about you, but I often wonder about the words that I speak. I wonder, “Does what I say matter?” “Does what I say have any affect whatsoever in the lives of the people I am talking with?” “What is the purpose of what I am saying?” Every week I have the opportunity to speak to youth, but does what I say carry any weight? Does it help change anyone’s life? Is it encouraging or is it beating them down? Does it challenge and encourage them to reach their potential or does it require impossible things from them? These are not easy questions to answer, but they, and many more like them, are what I can’t get out of my head.
I constantly think about the way I communicate. You should too. Why? Because we all communicate every day!
Right? Communication matters. The words we use on a daily basis can change the lives of the people we are talking to, working with, or hanging out with every single day. Your words can also change you.
The Bible says: “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 who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).
So cool, the Bible says it, but what does that matter? What if I don’t believe in the Bible? What if I don’t care what it says, or it’s not relevant to my life?
Put those questions aside for a second and think about the content of what the verse says. Think about the words you can use each day: do unwholesome, crude, mean words help anyone? Do encouraging, strengthening, uplifting words benefit those who hear them? I think the answer is yes.
We have a choice, you and I. We can use our words for good; or we can use our words for evil. Unfortunately our mouths don’t come with instruction manuals on how to use them properly. I think a lot of problems could be avoided if we were all able to better use our mouths to speak well.
Throughout my 24, almost 25, years of life, I have been a first-hand witness as to how destructive words can be to a person’s self-esteem and image. If you’re like me, you’ve experienced hurt at the derogatory words of someone else, and you’ve seen others beaten down by someone else’s words. Why not be the change? We can use our power for good! We can speak life!
If Peter Parker can learn this lesson from Uncle Ben, we can too: “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Words contain great power. We have a great responsibility to use them well and to realize the kind of power that come through what we say–even those things we say that we don’t think matter.
Sometimes I can be careless with my words. When I am tired, when I am not thinking, when I am busy, when I am annoyed, etc., I don’t always think about what I am saying, how I am saying it, and the power of the words that are coming out of my mouth. I have seen the great power of these careless words, and have seen the damage they have done. The careless words weren’t worth the damage they caused..
Remember that your words, all of your words, have power!