Words Can Bring You Down

words can bring you down

Words can burn it all down. Words can destroy your family, they can destroy your heart, they can destroy your marriage. Words can bring you down. Words can cause destruction in a church, in a family, in a workplace, in the culture. And I think we see that right now. It’s happening all around us.

Our words are powerful.

In the third chapter of James’s epistle, he says this: “Consider when a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue is also a fire.” In verse 7, he says, “All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil full of deadly poison.” (NIV)

James wasn’t saying that talking is bad or that words are bad. The fact is that our words are incredibly important for influencing our society. Our words are important for building and strengthening our families, for encouraging our spouse, our kids, our friends, so words are incredibly important. But he does give us the warning that words can do a lot of damage.

Sometimes one inappropriate word can wreck a career. It can ruin a marriage or wreck a reputation. When it’s in bad taste, when it’s unfair or unjust, it can burn down a life. It can burn down a whole platform.

So I want to encourage you today to just consider the weight of your words, because words can bring you down. Consider the destructive capability wrapped up in the words that you say. And remember that sometimes when you label someone, when you put a stamp on someone, you speak into their identity. And if you’re not careful, you can crush them, hurt them, or emotionally maim them for life, especially your spouse.

You know the little things about “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me?” That’s hogwash. Names will hurt you a much longer time than sticks and stones will. 

Read Next on Thriving Marriages  An Open Letter to My Imperfect Wife

Your words can bring you down. Keep that in mind and think about how you’re going to use your words to build instead of to burn.

 

This article appeared here.

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My sweet, beautiful wife, Angie, and I were high school sweethearts and have been married since June 14, 1997. She’s a very talented therapist as well as a key leader within Grace Hills Church in Bentonville, Arkansas, which we founded together in July of 2011. Her heart breaks for the broken and she’s changed my life by loving me so faithfully and graciously. Grace Hills Church has grown from a couple of families to an average attendance of over 500 while sending people to plant locally and abroad. We were sent out by Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, where I served as a Pastor while re-developing the online, global community of Pastors.com.