So a few days ago, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine — Ben — and we started talking about words, the importance of and power of words. So I’m asking the question, do words matter? I’m a follower of one who is called “The Word” so words matter to me. I’m a preacher by passion and calling so words matter to me. My formative church years were spent with groups of people who labeled themselves, “people of the Word” so words matter to me. But before we say more…here is some of what The Word says about words.
The tongue the brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:4 (NIV)
Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach; good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest. Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit — you choose. Proverbs 18:20-21 (MSG)
Thoughtless words can wound as deeply as any sword, but wisely spoken words can heal. Proverbs 12:18 (TEV)
But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. Matthew 12:36 (NIV)
Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. 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. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring. James 3:1-12 (NLT)
A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad… For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. Matthew 12:33‑35 (NLT)
It seems like words matter. Good words matter. Bad words matter. What kind of words do you major in?