The Power of Words



29Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  Ephesians 4:29

The hardhearted person diminishes the impact of his or her words. But those of us touched by Christ Jesus, know words pack a punch.  The renewing work of the Holy Spirit softens our heart and we cannot stand the thought of our words echoing in the minds of others as the shadow and stench of death.

The Gospel creates hope for humanity. And when I am operating in the fullness of the Holy Spirit my words will cooperate with the Gospel’s hope. Paul urges us to speak words of life fitting for the occasion so that people are built up and given grace.

What vision of people shapes the words pouring from your mouth?

Your words have power to shape people.


11 statements from James on the power of speech

  1. Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life God desires.  James 1:19-20
  2. If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.  James 1:26
  3. Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.  Mercy triumphs over judgment.  James 2:12-13
  4. The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.  Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.  The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.  It corrups the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.  James 3:5-6
  5. …no man can tame the tongue.  It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.  James 3:8
  6. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the both come praise and cursing.  My brothers, this should not be.  James 3:7-8
  7. What causes fights and quarrels among you?  Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You want something but don’t get it.  You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want.  You quarrel and fight.  You do not have, because you do not ask God.  When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.  James 4:1-3
  8. Brothers, do not slander one another.  Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it.  James 4:11
  9. Now listen you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  Why you don not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life?  …as it is you boast and brag.  All such boasting is evil.  James 4:13-14, 16
  10. Above all, my brothers, do not swear–not by heaven or by earth or by anything else.  Let you “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.
  11. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.  James 5:17