by Pastor Tim Burt
Last posting, I begin to talk about how words frame our world. What most people don’t realize is that words carry power. Do you think that’s not true? Then just ask yourself, has anyone ever spoke unkind words to you that hurt you? Of course they did. Many times throughout your life! In the same way, has anyone ever spoke encouraging and exhorting words over you? I hope that they have, and many times throughout your life! Some words tear down, and some words build up. Why? Because words are containers of power. That’s why people like to hear inspirational, exhorting, and kind words!
If you didn’t already, please read yesterday’s Part One of this post and look at how God used words to create and frame this world. He did and it’s something He wants you to understand for the benefit of your life.
If you think I write too much about words, I assure you I don’t write enough about them. Words have power and they impact your life and the life of others ever day! Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV) says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” And Hebrews 11:3 gives revelation on the power of our words. Hebrews 11:3 (NLT) says, “By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command (by His words,) that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.” This verse reveals that words create and carry the force to frame and build with the result of having something good appear that previously wasn’t there. God created the world from words! Go back and read Genesis 1 to see this truth. Words can create what didn’t exist, or words can destroy what does.
In the book of James, we see a powerful statement about the power of our words. James 3:2 (NLT) “Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.” This verse is saying that if you want to be a better Christian maturing in your faith, then understand how important words are and learn to speak right ones! Why? Because they literally have the power to frame your thinking, your attitude, set the tone for the atmospheres you are in, and frame the desires of your heart. What you say matters!
When Renee and I were newly married, she did not know how to clean, cook, or keep house. She had lived at home all her life and her mother did most everything for her. I had lived on my own for five years and was way ahead of her in home economics. I had a choice, complain and nag which I knew would bring a touch of death to our love, or I could frame her with words. I did that. I had Proverbs 31 which talks about what a virtuous woman is, written in calligraphy and beautifully framed. I gave it to Renee as a gift and hung in our living room. I told her she was that virtuous woman. I’d take her in the living room and read it to her. Then I would pray and thank God for the work He was doing in her and for helping her to be that virtuous woman by His grace. It helped me avoid the temptation to complain and reminded me to became a source of consistent exhortation to her. At each meal I’d say to the kids, Who is the best cook in the world? They had learned to respond in chorus, Mom is! It always made her smile. And over time, she did become that great cook, wife, mother, and virtuous woman. She became the best! Renee is sincerely an amazing wife.
Did I always get this right? Of course not. There would be times where we’d have a disagreement like couples do. Sometimes I’d let my guard down and say something negative about her. Words hurt and I’d hurt her. It took so much wasted time to recover from. It made me more determined to get my words right. Most people who fail in these areas are not doing what I purposed to do—frame what I wanted to create with godly words of edification. At least I had a good repair and remodeling plan going on. And I became better and better at speaking right words by God’s grace over time.
What you say matters! More than you may ever understand. Words frames your world. At the same time, you cannot control your tongue without the help of God’s grace and His Holy Spirit. So pray and lean on God to give your better words to frame your world. Do so and I promise you that over time, you’ll look back and see how it helped you build something beautiful!
Proverbs 17:27 (RSV) “He who restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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