Words. We know how much they can hurt; we know how good they can feel. Why are words so powerful? And why does the Bible warn us about them?
The power of words goes beyond you and me. At God’s word, the heavens came into being. At His word, we came to life. God’s word is all-powerful, but we too are warned about our words and the power they have to bless or curse others.
What Our Words Say about Us
The words we use reveal us on many levels. Jesus says the tree is known by its fruit, and that our mouths speak what’s in our heart. He explains further in Matthew 12:35-37:
The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
If we gossip about or slander others, what does that say of our heart? We’re not perfect, but once we know that the words we speak into being come from somewhere so deep inside, we start to question ourselves. We start to understand our deep and desperate need for God.
10 Warnings about the Power Words
We need God’s help to have a pure (and purer) heart. In the meantime, these proverbs can shine a light on where we are in our walk.
1. Anyone who answers without listening is foolish and confused. (Prov. 18:13)
2. Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. (Prov. 21:23)
3. A brother who has been insulted is harder to win back than a walled city, and arguments separate people like the barred gates of a palace. (Prov. 18:19)
4. People will be rewarded for what they say; they will be rewarded for how they speak. (Prov. 18:20)
5. There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Prov. 12:18)
6. What you say can mean life or death. Those who speak with care will be rewarded. (Prov. 18:21)
7. A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Prov. 15:1)
8. Without wood, a fire will go out, and without gossip, quarreling will stop. (Prov 26:20)
9. The words of a good person are like pure silver, but an evil person’s thoughts are worth very little. (Prov. 10:20)
10. The poor beg for mercy, but the rich give rude answers. (Prov. 18:23)