“But I tell you that men will have to give an account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37).
The Bible lays the foundation for the power in words, when it introduces God to us. In the beginning…God said. Words are spoken and things happened.
“God said…and it was so….God said…and it was so.” (Genesis 1:6,9, 11).
God used the power of words to create and He what He created is good.
God’s word is good. However, there is no shortage of people who would rather use words to destroy. They have no particular inclination to use words for good purposes. How we use words remain our decision. Would we rather use words to promote the good, or do we find pleasure in using words to break others down? The Bible often refers to the different ways in which we can destroy others with our words. In many cases, we may not even be aware of the damage we are doing. We think it is innocent fun, but the consequences are not so innocent, and it is certainly not fun for the person on the receiving end. We destroy others with words when we:
- Gossip about them
- Slander them
- Degrade them
- Insult them
- Overwhelm them with negative criticism, to name but a few.
Encouraging words, kind words and the truth spoken in love have the capacity to build people up. Furthermore, we tend to remember the people who encouraged us along our journey through life and often fondly relate their words to others. It would make more sense to be remembered for encouraging others, than to leave behind a trail of bitter memories of how we hurt others with our words.
“With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbour.” He needs no other weapon. With his tongue he does more than enough damage. The other side of the Scripture verse reads, however, “Through knowledge the righteous escape…” The destructive weapon of the godless holds no threat for a righteous person since he has knowledge, and not just any knowledge…He knows God. He is in a relationship with the One who is greater than all -even greater than the godless with his destructive words. Knowing God and how He operates; knowing His strength and knowing what He desires empowers a godly person to know how to use words well, to speak timely words, to know words that destroys the enemy’s attack and to know words that sustains the weary. Being in a close relationship with the One who spoke the first Word, allows the righteous person to use words with the care they deserve and for that reason,their words will acquit them and not condemn them.
Moreover, the wicked words of the ungodly have no effect on the ones who have made the Lord their Refuge. The reality is that those who are keen to destroy others with their words, are in effect destroying themselves:
He loved to pronounce a curse and it has come on him; he found no pleasure in blessing and it is far from him (Psalm 109:17
God will not be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. It is written that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ. May we become so close to Him that we may freely reflect that wisdom and knowledge when we open our mouths to speak.