How dangerous are your words?
A film in English class causes Martha to think about the effect her words have on those around her.
My English professor pulls down the projector screen and dims the lights as I enter the classroom. I find my seat and expect to be fighting sleep through another boring film. The screen flickers on and a lecture about the origins of language begins. Surprisingly, the man on the screen speaks enthusiastically, and something he says catches my attention. He says that language is “powerful” and “dangerous” because it allows you “to implant a thought from your mind directly into someone else’s mind”.
I begin to think about how this relates to me and what kind of language I use. Are my words “powerful” or “dangerous”? What kind of thoughts have I been implanting in those around me, especially the young, impressionable children I am often with? As the film continues, I decide that I never want to use cold, harsh, and thoughtless words that may create fear, doubt, guilt, and insecurity. I want to use words of praise, help, and comfort that nurture confidence, faith, and peace.I want to have a pure thought-life, so the thoughts I share with others are only good.
A class that is usually mundane ends up being very eye-opening. I have a new goal, that my life will testify to that which is written in Proverbs 8:8, “All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; nothing crooked or perverse in them.” But how can this be more than just a goal? My words are often harsher than I want them to be, sometimes words slip out of my mouth that I really regret, and there are days I feel like I am bombarded with negative thoughts.
I have experienced that it isn’t possible for me to be righteous with my words and in my thoughts without help. But I have also experienced that there IS help! Jesus is my example and helper, and my goal is becoming a reality! When He was on earth, Jesus received help from God to say and do only the good. “Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears… and having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,” Hebrews 5:7,9. It’s written that He was heard because of His Godly fear.
With this same Godly fear and a need and cry in my heart, I can receive the same help from Jesus that He received from His heavenly Father! Then I can learn to practice some of the most valuable words in the Bible, like being “swift to hear and slow to speak” (James 1:19) and “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).
“For I will give you a mouth and wisdom…” Luke 21:15.
This post is also available in: Norwegian Bokmål
You might also be interested in our theme page about Overcoming sin.