Tuesday, August 13, 2013

August 14, 2013

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21
"Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me!" 

Remember saying those words when you were young? Do you remember why you were saying them?

You were trying to defend yourself against someone who was taunting you while, at the same time convince yourself of its truth because the words WERE painful and they WERE hurting you!

Verbal insults, verbal abuse, and the power of words to affect your emotions and actions are well demonstrated in science. For example, scientists have found that just hearing sentences about elderly people led research subjects to walk more slowly. In other research, individuals read words of "loving kindness" showed increases in self-compassion, improved mood, and reduced anxiety.

Consider this short poem entitled “Power of Words:”

A careless word may kindle strife
A cruel word may wreak a life
A bitter word may hate instill
A brutal word may smite and kill

A gracious word may smooth the way
A joyous word may light the day
A timely word may lessen stress
A loving word may heal and bless

Someone has wisely stated, "Words have incredible power. They can make people's hearts sore, and they can make people's hearts soar."

One reason words are so powerful is because they are able to create hope or they can crush hope. Consider this scientific evidence:

A number of years ago researchers performed an experiment to see the effect hope has on those undergoing hardship. Two sets of laboratory rats were placed in separate tubs of water. The researchers left one set in the water and found that within an hour they had all drowned. The other rats were periodically lifted out of the water and then returned. When that happened, the second set of rats swam for over 24 hours. Why? Not because they were given a rest, but because they suddenly had hope!

Those animals somehow hoped that if they could stay afloat just a little longer, someone would reach down and rescue them. If hope holds such power for unthinking rodents, how much greater should is effect be on our lives.
Think about it. You have the power to speak hope into lives today. Perhaps your hope-filled words will be just what someone needs to stay afloat!
If your heart is hurting from hurtful words recently spoken to you, it will be harder to rise above your hurt to speak hope to others. I am going to ask you to do a couple of hard things:
1) Will you ask God to heal your heart?
2) Will you forgive the one who hurt you so He can replace your hurt with His hope?
3) Will you find hope from God's Word so you can share hope with others?
4) Will you speak words of hope to others today and refuse to say hurtful words?
You may just find healing and hope for yourself as you commit to speaking it to others!