Words By Kara Brunsting
Kara is 14 years old and lives in Waterloo, Ontario.
You. Us. Should. Must. Yes. No. Don’t. Do. Hate. Love. These words, on their own, don’t mean much. But what if I said ‘You aren’t coming.’ or, ‘Yes, I lied to you.’ or even, ‘I hate you.’
You’ve heard it. Or seen it. Or read it. ‘Words hurt’, ‘Be careful what you say’, and it’s true, words have extraordinary power to hurt. They can destroy someone’s self-esteem, crush a new idea, and ruin relationships. The wrong word, at the wrong time, can hurt so much more than someone’s pride.
Yes, words hurt. But have you ever thought about how much your words have the power to heal? What if we used those same words and said, ‘Yes, please come with us’, or, ‘I am sorry I lied to you’, or, ‘I love you.’ Have you ever thought about how your words can heal a friendship, or mend a hurt, or even turn someone’s entire life around? If words have the power to hurt, then surely they have the power to heal.
Jesus, The Word
When Jesus walked the earth, his words carried enough power to raise the dead to life. He “Called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped” (John 11:43-44). Even the words of Jesus’ disciples had the power to cast out demons. When Paul encountered a demon, he called out; “‘In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!’ At that moment the spirit left her.” (Acts 16:18)
We aren’t Jesus, calling for Lazarus to come out of the tomb. We aren’t Paul, casting out demons in the name of Jesus Christ. But we still have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us, and with it, the power of words. With words, we can send down a blessing upon someone, or send up a prayer for someone in need, or just give someone an encouraging word. When we call out to God, he listens, and he responds. The effects of blessings and prayer may be obvious right away; or you may never see them. But just with a few short words, you can change someone’s life.
Being careful of what we say, we are used to watching our words, of not hurting anyone’s feelings. We are always hearing that ‘words hurt’. We aren’t used to using them as a source of power. But we need to use them more, not less. We need to use words of goodness and power and love. We need to use words of blessing and prayer and forgiveness. We need to use our words to bring glory to Jesus’ name.
Try it. Right now. Think about someone. Maybe you like them, maybe you don’t, maybe they are hurting, maybe they are celebrating. But right now, wherever you are, bless them. Call upon God to see them and to love them and to bless them. And God will listen. Your words have more power then you could ever imagine. And as you go about your day, don’t think about how the wrong word could hurt someone. Think about how the right word could heal someone. Think about how you can use your words to heal others.
It is important to watch our words. Words hurt. Words kill. But it is even more important to understand that we can use our words for good. Use them as a blessing. Use them as a prayer. You have been given words. Use them.