Encouragement for Today
“The Power of Words”
Marybeth Whalen, Proverbs 31 Ministries Speaker
Jeremiah 15:16, “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty.” (NIV)
Whenever I park my car, I immediately depress the emergency brake. I have done this ever since I was in college and bought a new car from a dealership. As I took that car for a test drive, the salesman told me something I have never forgotten: “Never let the transmission hold the car. Use your emergency brake.” As a result of that one statement, I have used the emergency brake ever since. Not only that, but I’ve encouraged my husband to do it too. I imagine when our kids start driving, we will even teach them to do it.
The truth is, I never even checked to see if what that salesman told me is correct. I never asked someone else or did research to see if he knew what he was talking about. I took the word of this person I spent a few hours with when I was twenty-years-old. For the rest of my life, his words have stuck with me. The other day, I wondered how many other offhanded comments like this I have taken to heart and adopted as truth in my life? How often do I do this with other people’s words?
Words are powerful. We take the things people say to us to heart whether we intend to do so or not. Words have ways of sneaking past our defense mechanisms and penetrating deeply into our soul. We might try to disregard or shrug off the things others say to us, yet we find ourselves recalling the hurt, the sting, or the doubt those words stirred up. The words of a friend, neighbor or mere acquaintance can affect us for better or worse.
In hindsight, perhaps I should have checked on the words of the car salesman by asking others for advice or checking a guide. This is true of anyone’s words. Instead of accepting and indoctrinating someone’s offhanded comment, we need to take those words before God. We need to ask Him if the words are true. What is His opinion of the issue?
Particularly when someone’s words rub us the wrong way us, we need to hold these words up to the light of His Word. By doing this, we will feel His peace. We will experience the freedom of being released from the hold these words have had on us.
Don’t let the words of others inflict unnecessary harm on you. We say things we shouldn’t every day—never realizing the mark we leave. And yet, the very thing someone said without thinking can so easily penetrate our hearts forever. God loves you. He wants to free you from the falsehoods you have mistakenly adopted as truth in your life. Take time today to seek His truth in your life. Spend time reading His Word to hear what He has to say about you. Don’t just take someone else’s word for it!
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, Please help me to let go of the hurt I have held onto because of what others have said to me. I want to know what You have to say to me instead of believing the wrong things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
30 Days to Taming Your Tongue by Deborah Smith Pegues
Becoming a Woman Who Listens To God by Sharon Jaynes
Out of the Mouths of Babes by Wendy Pope
Live your life aware of the power of others’ words and make a habit of immediately stopping hurtful words in their tracks through prayer—before they take root in your heart.
What hurtful words have you taken to heart that you need to release through prayer and time in God’s word? What does God have to say to you about those words?
Psalm 12:6, “And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.” (NIV)
II Samuel 22:31, “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.” (NIV)
Proverbs 30:6, “Do not add to God’s words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” (NIV)