Words And Their Impact

Posted on July 5, 2024

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Words And Their Impact

Our text from the book of James opens up a discussion on a hitherto unknown fact; that relationships are at the core of our existence, and that our word or language shapes our human interaction! It is crucial that we consider the effects of our words (and actions) on other people.

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? James 3:1-11

My dear brothers and sisters don’t be so eager to become a teacher in the church since you know that we who teach are held to a higher standard of judgment. We all fail in many areas, but especially with our words. Yet if we’re able to bridle the words we say we are powerful enough to control ourselves in every way, and that means our character is mature and fully developed. Horses have bits and bridles in their mouths so that we can control and guide their large body. And the same with mighty ships, though they are massive and driven by fierce winds, yet they are steered by a tiny rudder at the direction of the person at the helm. And so the tongue is a small part of the body yet it carries great power! Just think of how a small flame can set a huge forest ablaze. And the tongue is a fire! It can be compared to the sum total of wickedness and is the most dangerous part of our human body. It corrupts the entire body and is a hellish flame! It releases a fire that can burn throughout the course of human existence. For every wild animal on earth including birds, creeping reptiles, and creatures of the sea and land have all been overpowered and tamed by humans, but the tongue is not able to be tamed. It’s a fickle, unrestrained evil that spews out words full of toxic poison! We use our tongue to praise God our Father and then turn around and curse a person who was made in his very image! Out of the same mouth we pour out words of praise one minute and curses the next. My brothers and sisters, this should never be! Would you look for olives hanging on a fig tree or go to pick figs from a grapevine? Is it possible that fresh and bitter water can flow out of the same spring? So neither can a bitter spring produce fresh water. James 3:1-12 (TPT)

Words have power and their meaning:

  1. crystallizes perceptions that shape our beliefs,
  2. drive our behaviour and
  3. ultimately create our world (environment).

Words have the power to change thought, mood and motivation within an individual hence the importance of knowing about words! The following realities are scripturally established:

By thoughtfully choosing what we read, hear or utter, we shape our reaction or responses in the matter of obedience and direction or path of life we tread! on issues of life!

Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. Proverbs 6:2

You’ll be trapped by your promise and legally bound by the agreement. Proverbs 6:2 (TPT)

Your words can trip you, what you say can cause you to stumble and can keep you from your potential. We were warned by the Lord in Mathew 12:37.

For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Matthew 12:37

Your very words will be used as evidence, and your words will declare you either innocent or guilty. Matthew 12:37 (TPT)

Proverbs 18:20-21 teaches us that words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach, good talk is a gratifying as a good harvest. Words kills, could give life and are either poison or toxic.

A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:20-21

Sharing words of wisdom is satisfying to your inner being. It encourages you to know that you’ve changed someone else’s life. Your words are so powerful that they will kill or give life, and the talkative person will reap the consequences. Proverbs 18:20-21 (TPT)

A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence. Proverbs 13:2

The words of the wise are kind and easy to swallow, but the unbeliever just wants to pick a fight and argue. Proverbs 13:2 (TPT)

**A horse’s bit, like the human tongue, is small but important. Both have great influence over something big and powerful—for the bit, it’s the horse. For the tongue, it’s our words (James 3:3,5).

Our words can run in different directions, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings” (v. 9). Unfortunately, the Bible warns that it’s very hard to control our speech because words spring from your hearts (Luke 6:45). Thankfully, God’s Spirit, who indwells every believer, helps us grow in patience, goodness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). As we cooperate with the Spirit, our hearts change and so do our words. Profanity turns to praise, lying gives way to truth and criticism transforms into encouragement.

Taming the tongue isn’t just about training ourselves to say the right things. It’s about accepting the Holy Spirit’s guidance so that our words generate the kindness and encouragement that our world needs today—**Taken from Our Daily Bread


Pastor Afolabi Oladele

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