It’s easy to lose confidence in words. Wherever we turn, words wait…and force themselves upon us. Everyone’s got something to say or something to write. (Yes, I’m mindful of the irony of stating this in a blog post!)
It seems, as Jacque Ellul once observed, that all we do is chit-chat and rarely say anything meaningful any more. And in such an environment we may well prefer silence. That’s entirely understandable.
But the misuse, abuse, or cheapening of words should not distract us from the truth. As followers of Jesus, we ought to find words utterly compelling.
God created the heavens and the earth with words. He spoke, and things came into being. And still do.
Our words, spoken before God and empowered by God, have the potential to dramatically change someone else’s life; not because we are smart or wise but because the mystery of God still works in words—even awkward and fumbling words—to perform miracles in hearts.
The Bible affirms that the Holy Spirit’s ministry centers around words—words of prophecy, wisdom, knowledge, encouragement, and more. A chief work of the Spirit is to inspire. He inspired the written Word of God, and He continues to inspire our words for God.
We may conclude (wrongly) that words are only meaningful if they come from a wordsmith; that words should be well-crafted and well-stated to have any power. We may decide (wrongly) that uneducated, unpolished, and unsophisticated words lack significance. But those who follow Jesus know otherwise—or should.
The words you speak have the God-potential to shape a life. What will you say today to a child, a student, a spouse, a colleague, a neighbor, or a stranger? The power of the word resides not in our formulation but in the Lord’s empowerment. So, speak.
Speak a word today in obedience to Christ. Speak words to build up, not tear down. Speak…and pray as you do so. And watch what the Spirit of God does both in you and through you.
In a cynical society, words sound cheap. But the Cross can restore our confidence and our commitment to be the voice of God in a world burdened by the cries of men and women. Today, let’s listen, then speak positively and prayerfully.