Growing up my mom and dad have always taught us children about our words and how much power they have. How much power something YOU say can have over another person, and even yourself. How much your words can build up, or tear down. I always remember when growing up how much it would mean to me when people would call me beautiful or compliment me in some way or how much it would hurt when I was criticized or belittled. Which sounds totally silly, right? How is it that me telling someone that they are beautiful and worth it make them feel that much better? I find it so beautiful how words can build someone up, which is probably why words of affirmation is one of my love languages. The Bible is so full of these wonderful words of affirmation and God telling us that he loves us. How cool is that!?
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29)
I definitely think on the other side of that that negative words also hold considerable power. Like when you don’t feel like you're good enough, and you tell yourself that you can’t do something. When you’re criticized by another person that you hold respect for. These things hurt because words can hurt. Because words hold power. It’s been like that since the beginning when God created the Earth using His words.
The day before I got surgery on my ankle the doctor told me that after the surgery I would most likely not be able to walk normally again. I knew much much better than to believe him at the time., but as the months progressed and I didn’t feel like I was making as much progress in my health that I wanted, even though I was putting in the hard work, I got discouraged and what he said to me kept creeping back in to my thoughts. His words, even though he and I might not have realized, had power over me. I was the one that allowed them to have that power because I was the one that believed them.
Another thing about negative words is that you don’t have to believe them! “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--THINK about such things” (Phillipians 4:8). You don’t have to believe the lies or negative words. If it’s untrue don’t let it have power over you (hah that rhymed).
So, If these negative words are like a poison… why do we use them? And why would I want to intentionally belittle another person or myself…
Also if positive words also have power, to make someone feel better, safe, loved, beautiful, stronger. Why don’t we use them more often?
This past week I’ve been speaking and praying these words of encouragement not just over other people, but over myself. It’s not selfish to tell yourself that you’re beautiful and worth it because you truly are.
I speak over myself words of encouragement, knowing that I’m getting stronger every day, that God’s Word is true and that “by His stripes I am healed and I am whole” (Is. 53:), and most importantly that I AM LOVED!
“Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and those who love it will eat its fruit.”