I have been reflecting on many topics lately…issues that trouble my heart and fill my mind with a swirling barrage of questions and seeking. Life is truly an ongoing time of soul-searching. I could blog about any number of things, but today my words flow in service of exploring…the power of words.
Words Drive Our Life
The only thing we build in this world that will outlast into the next are the spiritual relationships we forge and maintain with our fellow man. The truth is, all of life is relational. It doesn’t matter if it is the more literal example of our friends and family members and coworkers, or if it’s our relationships with ourselves, with the creator of the universe, with our environment and this planet we live on and all the life that it holds — life that has been entrusted to mankind in stewardship to nurture, develop, and utilize sustainably…It is all about relationship.
Whether we realize it or not, words are the governing forces of it all. How and what we think fuels how we feel and then how we feel drives our actions, choices, and behaviors. How we think, speak, and write matters. There are no casual words. All words have power and all words have consequences for good or ill. With our words we can hurt or heal, build intimacy or break trust, curse or bless, protect or punish, the list goes on and on.
So many people speak words so casually, without realizing the depth and gravity of the power of words. We speak words of binding every single day…
- I will
- I can
- I won’t
- I can’t
- I understand
- I’m sorry
- I love you
- I am
- I am not
- I promise
- Always and forever
- You are
- We are
- We will
These are but a handful of examples. With or without the word “promise,” all of these words are vows regardless of the understanding of the speaker.
People are so careless with words. They bind themselves and others in the cords of their empty utterances and then choke on a poison of their own concoction…for empty words are a curse and a poison to those who speak them. It doesn’t matter if the circumstances and seasons of your life have changed. We must be cautious of the words we speak for they hold us and others no matter how the winds have changed or feelings have shifted.
Wield Them With Care
There is a permanence to words whether we like it or not. With our words we uplift or tear apart, build, strengthen, and maintain trust, love, and relationships…or erode them. When our actions and words are not in alignment, chaos inevitably ensues. The most unhappy unstable people I know are those whose actions and words are discordant…whose words are an empty vacuous lie ringing across the timeline of their life, souring every interaction they have, every opportunity that arises.
My greatest pain has been inflicted through the empty or withheld words of others, and those words I have woven in binding around myself. Words are oxygen to me…yet all too often I find myself drowning in a sea of silence. I am excruciatingly cautious of speaking certain words. Although I have deep love for others, life has taught me never to speak of that love too freely.
In a world of selfish takers and fakers, I strive to always hold myself to maintaining a standard of consistency, authenticity, reciprocity, and loyalty regardless of what arises. So I must practice discernment to identify who is worthy of the words that flow through me.
Words have always been sacred things to me. Those who know me best understand the powerful role they play in every facet of my existence, every area of my life. Words are everything to me. A fulfillment of every need, every desire, every question and wondering. So what do I do in a crowd of silver-tongued Sarumans and careless charismatics? How do I fill the void in my soul, how do I heal my heart?
One of my favorite names of God is the “Word Incarnate.” He spoke the world into existence. He is the author and finisher of our faith, ultimate wordsmith. When on earth in human form as Jesus, he spoke miracles into being. He was so verbal in his enactment of power…and he created us in his image to represent what he did. “Greater things than these shall you do in my name,” said he. I always say words are powerful, wield them with care…and this is why. Words truly are the foundation of all creation. They are a sacred spiritual covenant.
When I was bedridden for months in the early stages of my treatment for Lyme Disease, I found peace in the pain and joy in the suffering. I found comfort, hope, and promises that I could truly tie myself to without fear of being let down. A guarantee of love unending. I could not easily focus to read, and staring at a screen had become interminable, but I could plug in my headphones and lie for hours with the Bible app on audio, reading through the living word.
I could bear through the sound sensitivity and put on worship music and Christian contemporary playlists and shed tears of joy in the midst of my solitude and uncertainty, listening to the verses of life and truth woven into every chorus.
My husband and I were both unemployed in the dead of winter, I spent most of my time in bed — not sleeping — and every doctor I had seen for a year and a half had told me there was nothing wrong with me and I needed to see a therapist…or that they simply didn’t believe in Lyme Disease. We had no prospects, no hope, no guarantees, no financial or emotional support, no community, no local friends. I was more alone than I have ever been in my life, and yet in the living word, I had all that I truly needed.
The Living Word Heals
Those hours of devotions and scripture and song wrapping myself in a cocoon of faith, woven in the threads of the fabric of life itself — the living word of God — These were the foundation of my ultimate wordsmith training. I didn’t realize it at the time, but in the months that followed I learned where to go to find healing. I learned how to build relationships. I learned the truth of my identity and the strength of spiritual partnership. It may seem unlikely to those who do not share my faith, but in simply reading scripture and spending time in prayer I found the answer to every question that had ever plagued my soul so deeply.
I am still healing, and my journey unfolds as I walk down the path that has been laid out for me, learning more about the Word Incarnate, and the true power of words. This has developed in so many ways. No longer do I only study in solitude. I know that together is better, and we were created and designed to live and grow in fellowship with one another. This is the greatest way to grow, for we discover our true selves and our purpose in this world in relationship with others.
Before Lyme Disease I can honestly say that my relationship with myself, the world, faith and with words was seriously lacking. It may surprise some to hear that until Lyme I hadn’t written anything in over six years. I had shut myself off from so much by denying my connection with words.
Now I understand that not only are words foundational to who I am, they are the core of life itself. I still struggle with the empty words of others, but I know that when I stay firmly rooted and grounded in the Living Word of God, I can weather any storm. I am shielded in my faith…a faith founded on the rock of words.
Thank you for reading! How has the power of words impacted your life?