Today’s Devotional: Our Words Are Powerful

Our words are powerful. The old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me,” couldn’t be further from the truth in my mind. Despite our ability to forgive and forget, a well-timed hateful string of words can emotionally damage a person for years to come.

Our Daily Bread gives us welcome reminder of the pain that our tongues can cause:

The writer of Proverbs describes an unwise person as “one who speaks like the piercings of a sword” (12:18). Our tongues can be like a multi-bladed Swiss Army knife when it comes to the variety of ways that we cut and destroy each other.

Unhealthy attitudes of anger, irritation, frustration, and impatience—even disappointment, stress, guilt, and insecurity—all contribute to our damaging speech. And as we cut with our words, we wound and divide friendships and relationships. It’s no wonder that the infamous list of seven things that are an abomination to the Lord includes anyone who “sows discord among brethren” (Prov. 6:16-19).

How do we stay off that list? For starters, we need to watch what we say. Gossip and slander are out, and words that hurt instead of heal are not welcome. Boasting, lying, and all the rest of the ways we use words to hurt and divide need to be gone as well. In their place, words that extend love and the healing power of forgiveness, mercy, and truth should rule our words and relationships. After all, where would we be if Jesus hadn’t spoken words of forgiving love and grace to us?

Read the entire devotional at odb.org

Is there anything you’ve said recently that you feel convicted about? How do you avoid damaging speech?

5 Responses to “Today’s Devotional: Our Words Are Powerful”

  • becky says:

    we have been attending our church for 17 years. our pastor(fundamental conservative) is an excellent teacher, but poor shepherd. at times his tone of voice and the way he presents things can be dishearteneing. we come out of there feeling beat up. He means well, bu we are getting tired of it. am too intimidated to talk with him and the elders have addressed it on occasion.do we forgive and forget so to speak or maybe go someshere else. when we have guest speakers, it is so nice. there soothing words are like a balm to the soul. it is a small church around 120 and he has been there 22 years.thanks. we just need some perspective.

    • charlene says:

      I love this scripture in John – I beleive our relationship with our minister/pastor is intended to be similar to what Jesus talks about in this passage about the shepherd and his sheep..we know his voice and he calls us by name. It is a personal, loving relationship that we share with one another. If this is NOT the relationship and much effort has been made by you and even the elders, it may be time for a change.
      John 10:2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
      My understanding of “Speaking the truth in love” requires a confrontation – loving and expectant of a Godly response.
      Math 18: 15″If your brother sins against you,[b] go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[c] 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. Again, God is clear – he wants love & unity in our relationships with one another, specifically in his church.

      This is the first time I’ve responded to something like this, but, having just survived a similar situation at church, I thought I would share. Hope this helps you! Charlene

    • happy with pastor says:

      I believe you need to pray hard about staying or finding a new church and follow what your spirit tells you. If you leave church week after week feeling beat up then it sounds like you may need to look elsewhere. I have been to those types of churches before and it was not to my liking either. You need to feel uplifted, and cared for in a church otherwise you feel dishearted in a place that is supposed to feel like home. As a christian it can be damaging and as a discliple well like you cant bring people to hear Gods good word. I think you should really pray about it and then if the spirrit leads you, find a church that preaches God’s good word. My prayers for you and your family may God bless you and may you find a place he has for you. Your sister in Christ, Grace

    • Lucy says:

      The most important thing you wrote is that you are too intimidated to talk to your pastor. If you look through the NT, you will never find the role of a pastor to be that of brow-beating the followers. Jesus’ staff and rod of Psalms 23 were that of a sheperd and no where will you find a sheperd who beats his sheep. The rod, often misused as an excuse to beat children with an object is to guide and protect and keep the sheep from being hurt. So too it should be with the pastors of our churches. I believe it is appropriate for a pastor to speak strongly of specific sin that is developing within a congregation or sinful situations that have occurred but not to beat the body of Christ into the ground verbally. You are clearly a thoughtful and caring person and God bless you for that, this has obviously been troubling you for sometime. I feel you need to find a place where you can worship God in peace and freedom and truth and not feel that you are unable to talk to your pastor. I am, 40-years Christian, from a christian home with a Godly father whom I regularly discuss Biblical matters with, and I am a former short-term missionary to Japan, which i say only to show that I really care about your situation.

  • john says:

    thank you for this message yes i find myself being this way and it’s ugly, i genuinely want to see people in a better way, and love them but i find it very difficult to love as we are instructed to, i know that is a very important characteristic for a me to have, i tend to be hard and judging, got any good ideas, for me to change this way?