“Do not underestimate the power of your words.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 20, 2021
But any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, or who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded the prophet to speak—that prophet shall die. Deuteronomy 18:20 (NRSV)
Words have power. It was with his word that the Lord spoke creation into being, and it is that very same word that sustains this present moment. In this sense, creation is not a one-time event but is the ever-present reality of the love of God. Since God is love, he creates. His love overflows into creation, inviting us to share in the eternal life of the Trinity.
As a woman or man made in the image of God, it should come as no surprise that your words also carry great weight and power. This is by design! The Lord has made you to speak blessing over his creation and over the people with whom you share your life. Every day you have the opportunity to use your words to bless or to curse, to build up or to tear down, to bring life or death.
In Deuteronomy 18, the prophet of God was given a similar opportunity. As they heard the word of the Lord spoken, they were then told to speak that same word into existence. Yet, for the prophet and for us, when we defect from the way of the Lord and his vision for life as it is meant to be lived, we place ourselves on a path to self-destruction and death.
Do not underestimate the power of your words. Though catchy and memorable, the children’s nursery rhyme is profoundly untrue! Stick and stones may break your bones, but words will hurt you. You do not have to think long or hard to recall a time when words of hatred, envy, or anger were spoken over you or someone you love. Sometimes these words are so sharp that they leave a wound that takes a lifetime to heal. Similarly, you may feel the shame of having spoken those words, rather than received them.
To live in relationship is to feel the power of words. Blessings and curses, spoken and received. Every moment is therefore an opportunity and an invitation. A chance to offer forgiveness and be reconciled with those who have wounded you, and to choose to speak words of blessing that reveal the Father’s heart of love.
Father, just as you speak creation into being, give me the strength to speak words of love and peace over others today, I pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
How can you use your words today to speak a blessing over someone you love?
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