The Power of Words


What’s your current favorite meme? What articles are you reading? What did you just scroll through on your social media news feed? What conversation did you just have around the dinner table, water-cooler or should I say that new virtual water-cooler – Zoom? What was said? How was it said? Did the conversation bring life? Did the conversation zap you of energy? Or even worse, did the words and conversation cause whatever stress or anxiety, discouragement, or frustration you already had, to skyrocket? There is so much power in our words!


Recently we just wrapped up our study on the Book of James on Wednesday nights with our Student Ministry here at FBCW. From week to week we discovered the practical wisdom and skills in living a life that “vividly shows the world who Jesus is”. James points out that we are called to be different. As disciples of Jesus, our faith is evidenced by the fruit of our lives. I asked the students, as I asked myself, what is the fruit of my words? Does the fruit of my words reveal to those around me the love, compassion, mercy, grace, truth, redemptive and restoration power of Jesus? Or do my words do the exact opposite – the fruit of my words reveal bitterness, anger, revenge, marginalization, selfishness, and condemnation?


One of the things that struck me with the power of our words is in connection with the ways we communicate in 2021. Although we of course have face-to-face interactions – so much of our communication and use of our words take place behind the screens on our phones or computers. Whether via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tik-Tok, and on and on – we are using the power of our Words. What is the fruit of your words?


James writes: “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:19-22)


So, what do we do when we are tempted to let the fruit of our words be more of a rotten banana rather than that crisp beautiful, juicy apple? Here’s a quick or should I say a “slow” approach: S.L.O.W.

  • STOP

Far too often our words don’t reflect Jesus because we don’t stop long enough to think about what we are going to say, how we will say it, and how it will be received. Stop long enough to think about the power of your words.

  • LISTEN

I see so many people, myself included, quicker to want to be heard rather than listen. We listen just long enough to let a person talk before we get to strike and make our point. How different would our conversations be; how much more fruitful would our words be, if we listened first – really listened. And responded with words that represented Christ.

  • OPEN YOUR HEART TO JESUS

Really what I’m saying is pray. At that moment you want to hit send on that message or post that comment or article – did you stop, listen and then pray to see how God feels about it? How quickly I have commented, said something, made a decision without ever seeking God for what to say or how to say it.

  • WALK AWAY

This for some of us will be the hardest. Sometimes, you just need to walk away. Delete the post. It’s not worth the world tasting the fruit that is bitter and pushes them further away from Jesus. We heard it in kindergarten – if you have nothing nice to say – don’t say it at all. Even Jesus didn’t open His mouth as He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. Perhaps we can endure a little more than we think.


So again, there is power in our words. SLOW down and represent Jesus. How will you use your words today?


May God use our words to draw others to the vivid beauty of the good news of the Gospel.


- Student Pastor - Andrew Porter