Words are Powerful
Our district superintendent preached a sermon at our charge conference this past Sunday about the Word. His scriptural basis was Jeremiah 1:4-10, which begins, "Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying..." (verse 1)
We played a game with the youth last Sunday. Controversial subjects were presented to them, and they had to respond to them using preassigned viewpoints. For instance, before they saw the topic, they knew that they would be against or for it, undecided, etc. One young man had been assigned to be "against" an issue. The issue turned out to be censorship -- sometimes it is necessary to censor books or song lyrics to protect young people. He began his argument against the issue by saying, "I was taught by my father that sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."
Forget about censorship, which isn't what this post is about, and think of the issue of words. Words can hurt. They can heal. They can invite or repel people. Words can affirm or tear down. A single word from one person can have a great impact on another.
Because of an invitation -- "Come to youth group with me" -- I now belong to a church and am an active member of it. Those few words changed my life.
When I first started to teach in our church, I received comments and notes from people, encouraging me and affirming what I was doing. I think because of that, I continue to teach, and to use the gift that God has given to me.
Words spoke a vow which as lasted over 20 years between Steve and me.
Not one to want to be embarrassed, I won't tell you all the ways that I have used words to hurt people, to make them feel unwelcome or unwanted. I want tell you the many times it has happened to me. You don't need me to give you examples; I'm sure you have many of your own.
Our words are powerful. But they are only the beginning -- over the next couple of days I'll post about our foundation in the word and how words and deeds are bound together.