The Power of the Tongue


And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” Genesis 1:3

The account of God creating the cosmos often becomes bland: God said, “Let there be light, earth, animals, and us….”  We’ve heard these phrases so often, and think them so divine, that we often forget that people have a similar capacity to explode new realities into existence.  Okay, maybe not seas, stars, and salamanders, but certainly our tongues create hurtful or redeeming relationships with others.

Sometimes we inflict pain and put distance between us:

You are such an idiot” attacks esteem.

Can’t you do anything right?” undermines confidence.

Get out of my life!” slams a door.

This kind of caustic language beats up people and strains relations. What a difference wholesome and affirming language makes!

I forgive you” helps mend a friendship.

You can do it! I know you can!” encourages the discouraged.

I am with you along the way” instills hope for someone on a difficult journey.

I promise to be true to you” assures that you will be faithful.

I am so sorry. I take full responsibility” signals humility and ownership of a wrong.

God’s words crafted molecules and mountains, foxes and ferns, galaxies and gulls. How might our words create things similarly beautiful? How might our language create trust and honesty, care and concern, affection and affirmation?

Listen to how you speak today. Are your words life-giving, or life-taking?  Do you check your spirit before you say something critical? Do you consider ways you might say things in love?

God, you have said that from the overflow of the mouth one’s heart speaks. Help me turn my heart toward Your ways and love so I may use my tongue to create healthy relationships around me. Amen.

Read The Relationship Project: Moving from ‘You and Me’ to ‘We’  “I wrote this book to show how a heart full of humility, self-control, faithfulness and other virtues transform our communication with people close to us.”

By Dr. Bill Strom

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