Proverbs 21:23 tells us, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” In fact the Bible has a lot to say about the power of words. They are the foundation to communication, whether that’s spoken, written or gestured. The words you are saying, hearing and reading can really frame your life. They can empower you or put you down. Here are four verses that explain the ways words carry power.

Power in Speaking Out: Matthew 17:20 — “So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” There is a lot of power in what you actually speak out over your life. Our words can bring things into existence. If you want something in your life, then you need to let your words reflect this goal. Our tongues and our hearts are connected, so when we speak, we influence our heart to believe. We can cause our true heart to change for the better. This belief and confidence (faith) can actually move mountains and change your life. If you continue to vent about a person in your life, you actually encourage your heart in that anger. Instead of taking the next step and moving on, you allow anger to fester. Try speaking out forgiveness instead and see how that anger dissipates! 

Power in Kindness: Proverbs 15:1 — “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Anger against anger only escalates. But if your words are kind and coming from a true heart, then the results can be powerful. Think of what happens when you encounter a disgruntled employee at a bank or an airport. When you approach them with understanding and kindness, you often find that they soften in appreciation. Suddenly, they’re more willing to take that extra step you needed them to take and fix your problem. Think too about the relief you feel when someone you’re expecting to be angry confronts you with kindness. Slowly, you start to relax. That’s the power of kind words. 

Power in Clarity: Proverbs 10:19 — “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” Words can often clutter and confuse. It’s much better to be clear and to the point. This is especially true when delegating as a leader! A lot can get lost in translation, so make sure you’re not leaving a lot of room for interpretation. Instead, be to the point and clear. When you’re arguing with someone (especially your spouse), you may feel the temptation to be long-winded just so you can release your anger. Instead, fight against this temptation and let them know why you’re upset in a way that offers them a chance to fix things. Be clear in your expression and you’ll find that by doing so you empower others to actually meet you halfway.

Power in Edifying: Proverbs 15:4 — “A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it crushes the spirit.” Word have the power to lift up you and the people around you. They can encourage. Simply speaking encouragement aloud can actually give people the boost they need. And speaking it aloud can edify and encourage you as well. Instead of being self-deprecating all the time, start speaking out what you’re good at and can do. Words sink into our souls and can crush us. But if we choose to make our words edifying and uplifting, then we might find life springing forth to ourselves and those around us.

In what ways have you found words to be impactful in your life? Let me know in the comment section!

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