“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalms 19:14
This verse was used often by the pastors in the church I grew up in as they would rise to deliver their sermons each Sunday. But this verse is not just for pastors, it is for us all.
I’ve been on a words kick lately. It’s just where I am right now. The Lord is teaching me that words matter. Seriously, they really matter. The words we speak to God in prayer matter, and the words we speak to and over each other matter.
But not all words matter equally because not all sources of words stand on equal footing. This is a tough lesson. I can remember when I was growing up and someone would say something that hurt my feelings. My mom would often say, “Consider the source.” Generally, she meant it to be a comforting statement… meaning that person’s track record was likely such that they had no business throwing stones at anyone else. It did usually make me feel a bit better, but hurtful words still hurt regardless of the source. Why do those words from unworthy sources still hurt?
Because there is power in the spoken word.
I am learning as I grow older that the words spoken about me that should matter the most are those spoken my heavenly Father. He has a lot to say about me. His words are neither words of flattery nor condemnation. They are truth, they are convicting, and they give me freedom to be who He says I am.
I still care what others say about me. I have people in my life to whom I have given permission to speak truth into my life. When they speak, I listen. I consider their words because of the high value I place on them as a person of influence in my life. I listen when they say good stuff, and I listen when they say not so good stuff. What these people say to me does not change their position in my life. Sometimes you just have to take your medicine.
…And then there are those scallywags in my life who throw words at me carelessly. Words that are meant to wound and do harm. It is against those people and their words that I guard my heart and mind. It is those words that I take captive, search them for any truth, and then toss away any untruthful accusations. It sounds simple enough, but it takes practice.
I have come to realize that at times, regardless of the source, I have cared more about what others say about me than what God says about me. Those words pale in comparison to the words my Father in heaven says about me. Here are some examples of what He says about His daughter. (If you are his child, He says these things and more about you, too!)
I am His child, adopted into His family. (John 1:12)
I am justified and redeemed. (Romans 3:24)
I deserve my place in the family
I am no longer a slave to sin. (Romans 6:6)
I am free from sin
I am set free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)
I am life giving
I am the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
I am pure
I am God’s workmanship created to do good works. (Ephesians 2:10)
I have purpose
I have been chosen of God, and I am holy and beloved. (Colossians 3:22)
I am loved
Wow, those words make me sound awesome, don’t they? But with those words comes a mountain of responsibility. My life is no longer my own, it has been bought with a great price. I must learn to live by the power of those words, and use those same words to be a blessing to others.
“Let 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.”
We cannot help the words that are spoken to us, but we can sure take control of the words that flow from our own mouths. We have to come to a true understanding of the power of our words to impact the lives of those around us.
I have a sweet friend who is a godly young mother. She understands the power of what God says about us, and she is teaching her young children this valuable lesson. Take a listen as sweet Isabelle tells her new baby brother what God says about him…
Just in case you missed it, Isabelle said, “You are beautiful. You are kind. You are smart. You are strong. You are going to do great things for the glory of God.”
Isabelle is three. Those are powerful words. Life giving words.
Imagine what this little bundle of joy will grow up to be as he hears again and again who he really is according to God’s word.
Way to go, Isabelle!