“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
I remember this phrase from my childhood being spoken to me after someone had used words to hurt my feelings.
Okay so words might not do physical damage to a person the way that a stick or a stone would, but they can hurt! One meme I saw recently changed the ending to “…but words can shatter a soul”. Indeed!
If you think about it, the words that we speak carry a great deal of weight and power with them. This is as it should be. Why? Because you and I were created in the image of God, the very same God who spoke the world into creation! The very same God who’s words are sharper than any two-edged sword! Why then would we, who are created by Him and as a reflection of Him, expect for our words to not carry with them the power to either create and lift up, or destroy and tear down?
Think about a child who is told by his father or mother every morning before school that he is worthless or useless, a failure. Compare that to a child whose mother and father reassure him of their love each morning and say things like “you’re going to do great”. Which child would you be willing to guess will be happier and more confident in life?
There is a scene I remember from the film Schindler’s List that is sometimes referred to as the “I pardon you” scene, where the characters Schindler and Goeth are speaking about power. Schindler tells Goeth that “Power is when we have every justification to kill, and we don’t”. He was speaking in direct reference to receiving a pardon, or mercy, as opposed to death. This is another example of the power of the spoken word holding life or death in the balance.
In my prayer life recently I have been asking the Lord to teach me more of what it means for the Church as His Bride to be a co-heirs with Him (Romans 8:17). I am beginning to better understand that, as His Bride, we will rule and reign together with Christ. So what does that look like, and how do we prepare?
As I move deeper into this, I see more and more the importance of having and using His authority according to His Kingdom and rule, and for His glory. As a result, there are certain things, bindings and losings, we must learn to speak. If we pray silently for these things, it remains as is, because it is something spoken in private. But if we speak out loud, using His authority, those under authority hear it and (as long as that authority is in Christ) they must comply!
My prayer is that He will help me to exercise His authority in submission to Him, speaking only what I hear Him speak, as He spoke only what He heard our Father speaking. Using His authority wisely to accomplish His purposes. I must remember, too, not only because I am created in His image but also because I am part of the Church, His Bride, and will reign together with Him, that my words – all of them – carry weight and authority.
“Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven”. Matthew 18:18
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:10-12