Words carry power; we mar or make with them.
HYMN: I AM THIN O’ LORD
Text: Prov. 12:17-19, 18:8, 21:23, Eccl. 5:2, Matt. 5:37, Eph. 4:29
Spoken words carry power; they can have negative or positive influence/impact on the hearer. Therefore, every believer in Christ should heed the admonition of Scripture on words and keep a check on the words of our mouth.
The objectives of this study are:
- To examine the negative influence of words.
- To discuss the positive impact of the words we speak
- To know how we can check the words of our mouth.
Q1. EXAMINE SOME NEGATIVE INFLUENCE OF WORDS.
Prov. 18:8, Numbers 13:26, 14:4, 36-37
Every word spoken has an influence on the hearer. Hence if you tell someone he has won a huge sum of money, the immediate impact on the hearer would be a smile. One the other hand, when a person is told harsh unkind and insulting words, the person would frown instead of smiling. This goes to show that every spoken word has an influence not only on the hearer but also carries power in the spirit realm.
Prov. 18:8 states that the “words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly”. Wrong choice of words, or even right words spoken at a wrong time and situation, hurts deeply and was described as wounds that touches to the innermost part of the belly.
The report by 10 out of the 12 spies sent out by Moses to spy the promise land (land of Canaan) was evil and as a result, the people panicked. They saw themselves as grasshoppers before the inhabitants of the land, which was described as a land that eateth up its inhabitants (Num. 13:32). The negative influence of these words made them say to themselves that they should choose a captain to take them back to Egypt. They made Israel murmur, thereby sinning against the Lord. The final influence/consequence of their words resulted in death. Num. 14:36-37.
In contemporary times, spoken words have different negative influence on their hearers, spanning from making the hearer sad, discouraged, give up on life, have self-pity, regrets, ill health, commit suicide and where the hearer does not die physically, there could be spiritual consequences hence, some have backslidden
leading to eternal death.
Q2. DISCUSS THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF THE WORDS WE SPEAK.
Prov. 12:17-19, 21:23, Rom. 10:9, 10, 1 Pet. 3:10
Just as the words we speak have negative impact on the hearer, likewise they can have a positive impact on the hearers.
Proverbs states that it establishes one’s righteousness and it also gives health- ex. Even when one is very ill and there seems to be no hope, the right words spoken could build up the individual’s faith, thereby restoring his health. Guiding the words we speak enables the believer to keep his soul out of troubles (Prov. 21:23).
Our salvation is not complete until we believe in our hearts and confess the Lord Jesus as our Lord with our mouths (Rom. 10:9-10).
Another positive impact of the spoken words is that such a person would see good days and have a fulfilled life. In the book of Acts, the Apostles timeous words “Do thyself no harm, for we are all here” saved the prisoners keeper from taking his life. Also, their remaining in the prison even when they had all the opportunity to have escaped, was part of what would have convinced the prison keeper that they were different from ordinary men, who would have jumped at the opportunity to escape. Furthermore, the word of God they spoke to him and his household resulted in their salvation. Spoken words are active, potent and carry power.
Words have the ability to encourage, comfort, sooth, build up faith in an individual, heal, strengthen, give hope for a better tomorrow, invigorate, empower, give life and above all guarantee eternal life. Parents should use their words positively on their children. Life and death are in the power of their tongue. Rather than curse children, let us bless. For whatever we bless is blessed and whatever we curse is cursed. Choose to bless today rather than curse.
Q3. HOW CAN WE CHECK THE WORDS OF OUR MOUTH?
Eccl. 5:2, Matthew 5:37, James 1:19, 4:11, Rom. 9:1, Col. 4:6, Eph. 4:29
There is need to check the words of our mouth. Eccl. 5:2, admonished that we should not be rash with our mouth and should also not be hasty to talk i.e. we are to take our time to talk, weigh our words and not be in a hurry to talk; while we are swift to hear, we should be slow to speak- James 1:19.
Endeavoring to speak the truth at all times, is another way we can check the words of our mouth. “Let your yea be yea and nay nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh evil”. We must speak the truth and not lie (Rom. 9:1). To check the words of our mouth, we are also admonished to avoid speaking evil of any person. We are not also to judge others. Indulging in these could lead to sin.
“Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye
ought to answer every man” Col. 4:6. We as believers must be mindful of every word we say; our words should impact positively on our hearers, and should carry grace. Our words should be answers in the minds of men, resolving doubts, and giving solutions to issues, giving peace to the troubled mind, hope and courage to the despair, faint and weak. Believers must shun the use of corrupt, foul, rotten and unedifying words. (Eph. 4:29). “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers”. In the name of making cracking jokes, some believers say all manner of words, even making mockery of sacred issues and things.
Little wonder most of our words do not carry the power they should carry as we have trivialized our words.
Believers must be careful not to indulge in this act. The class should mention others.
Daily Living Application
As Christ’s ambassadors, we should speak right words, to build up, give hope, encourage, impact positively and give life to the hearer, situations and circumstances.
1 Peter 3:10
” For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile “.
Daily Devotional Guide:
Monday: Impact of negative words.
Numbers 13:28-29, 31-33, 14:1-4
Tuesday: Consequences of negative words
Wednesday: Positive impact of words.
Pro. 12:17-19, 21:23, Rom. 10:9, 10
Thursday: Be not hasty to speak.
Eccl. 5:2, James 1:19
Friday: Check the words of your mouth.
Matt. 5:36, 37, James 4:11
Saturday: Check the words of your mouth.
Rom. 9:1, Eph. 4:29, Col. 4:6