"Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light." - Genesis 1:3
There are laws of the universe that function without us being able to see it, rather we see the cause and effect the law has on us. Just like the law of gravity there are laws that are actively working whether we realize it or not.
I've never heard this message preached in a church before, I've mainly heard this from successful secular figures who place great emphasis on what I'm about to share with you as one of the crucial parts of living a healthy life.
Like every concept, message, or teaching I search it out in my bible and put it to the test. What's really the truth and what's just someone's opinion? I will not hold something as equal to the word of God if it's not written in the bible, it's as simple as that.
I first heard this idea from my mom. She would not allow negative words to be spoken around her by us. If we were running late to catch our bus she wouldn't let us say "oh we'll probably miss it, we're going to be super late." Instead she would only allow us to say "we are right where we need to be, we will make the bus on time."
If we were sick she wouldn't encourage us to repeat affirmations like "I feel terrible, I'm never going to get well." Instead she would speak positive words like "you're healing quickly and are strong."
Sometimes I thought it was a little extreme since literally no one else I knew was doing anything like it but as I got older and really starting to dig into the word of God it made a lot of sense with what the scripture had to say.
I started practicing this principle of choosing to speak positive words and just like that became aware of what came out of my mouth, and how much of it was negative.
I want to unravel exactly what the bible has to say about the power of our words and how it affects us.
Right off the bat when you open you bible to the first chapter of Genesis it shows the power God had in his words since he spoke the world into existence.
He could have created it any way he liked, he's God but I think he chose his words to create the world so that he could prove a point to us.
We are created in the image of God, meaning that we have a resemblance as God's children to our heavenly father.
Not only that but people should be able to see God in us. When people look at our lives they should see similarity to who God is.
People sometimes take this the wrong way and say "well you can't be saying that we have the power to create our own world through our words since we are made in the image of God, other wise I would have a million dollars, live in Hawaii and go on a cruise."
Alright, if you were thinking anything along those lines let me help give you some clarity.
No, I'm not saying that you can just say "I want a million dollars." and a million dollars will magically pop into your hands, that's not how it works.
But the overall fact that there is an immense amount of power held within the words that you speak is indisputable.
Not because I say so but because it has biblical support.
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." - Proverbs 18:21
Last time I checked death and life are pretty serious, not necessarily topics you just throw around.
What this verse is saying is very simple.
The outcome of our words are life or death, if you love talking you're going to reap either one or the other.
I've learned over the years that there is huge value in listening well and speaking less but I still love talking, and I talk a lot. Which is alright it just means that I have to be extra careful about the words coming out of my mouth.
Where do our words come from?
"But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person." - Matthew 15:18
Our words come from the thoughts of our hearts. That's why it's so important that we not only give our heart and turn over our life to Yeshua but also daily train our minds to be focused on God's word and build ourself up with truth and hope.
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. " - Psalm 19:14
Ultimately I don't watch my words because just because I want to become more successful, attract positive people and live a healthy, whole life. Yes, all those things are great but my priority in doing this is because I am honoring God.
I want to acknowledge him in all my ways, including my words. I don't think it glorifies him if the words I let come out of my mouth are full of fear, doubt, negativity, expecting and receiving the worst.
I'm not perfect, sometimes I let things slip that I wish I wouldn't have said, I think we've probably all had those moments but generally I keep my words positive, expecting the best to unfold, backed with faith and trust.
It's not that on our own we have any power, but through our words we choose who we are allowing to work in our lives. Our words reveal the status of our hearts and minds, I believe it pleases God when we speak forth words of hope, truth and love.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. - Ephesians 4:29
We can either build others up with our words or tear them down. I can count quite a few times when a stranger's kind words just made my day and also when someone's harsh words ruined it. Of course I shouldn't have let it affect me that much but the truth is that it can if we let it and most people will.
Yes, there is a time for correction but there is a huge difference between criticism and correction.
Love covers a multitude of wrongs and much more than not it is our place as believers to build each other up and help encourage one another.
"There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." - Proverbs 12:18
Our words can either cut someone down in an instant or with wisdom we can help heal someone's wounds.
Consider what's the intent behind your words. If you feel the need to put others down, and pick apart other people's faults then search yourself and find the root of the issue, it's often insecurity.
Work towards building others up and focusing on their strengths.
This can make or break a relationship.
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver." - Proverbs 25:11
Communication is very important and necessary for each one of us and for our relationships to survive and work well but sometimes it's all about timing and the way we communicate not just the act of trying to express yourself.
It's not that you shouldn't ever acknowledge a problem, try to correct an error or recognize the bad. Sometimes we need those who are more inclined to see the problems within a situation so it won't hold us back from moving ahead. After all how can you fix or remove a problem if you don't even see it in the first place?
What I am saying though is to not dwell on it, don't focus on the problem. If you can do something about it go ahead but if not then stop thinking about it all the time. Stop talking about it endlessly. Either do something about it or choose to focus your energy on something more positive.
I've had to find a balance to this myself since I am very passionate about Israel and about peace and truth but sometimes I can get caught up in all the evil happening, not only in Israel but around the world that it becomes overwhelmingly negative and depressing.
When I hear of more news of terrorism, death and lies I have two responses.
I either become stirred up to take action, speak out and raise awareness.
Or I become stressed, feel defeated and weighted down.
I feel God has placed me in a unique situation where I am able to speak out against terrorism from first hand experience but I've seen others who are passionate about the topic like me become consumed by it and focus almost all their energy entirely about it which I think can almost glorify the enemies works instead of Gods.
"Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong;" - Psalms 37:1
The words you speak are so important because whatever you speak out you WILL (in a sense) create and attract more of into your life. If I start talking about something long enough I will draw more of it into my life and it could be almost anything.
Here's an example. If I don't have enough money that I need, instead of saying "I'm poor, I don't have enough." I do what I can to change my situation by working but even more importantly I tithe, I trust God to provide for me and I speak out my desired results. By doing this you change your track of thought to "I don't have enough" which will draw lack into your life to "I have more than enough, God always provides for me."
You can accept or reject this but there's no harm in giving it a try.
Focus on your lack, speak it out and see what it will produce, focus on the promises and blessings of God, speak it out and affirm it and see what the outcome is.
"What you sow so shall you reap..." - Galatians 6:7
What you say about yourself will determine how others will see you.
Reality is a funny thing because it can change so quickly. What seems real could be false. I saw finding Dory in 3D (what?! Can't even believe it happened) and a lot of times it feels like the characters are way closer than they really are. You know it's not real but part of your brain doesn't. It accepts it as truth.
It's the same way with what you tell yourself.
I met someone a little while ago and within an hour of so of us hanging out he called himself a loser 3 times.
It was sad to me because even though he meant it lightly that wasn't how I perceived him at all and I knew he probably didn't think anything of saying that.
Some of my best friends at times were very insecure and constantly said negative things about themselves.
Their words came from the thoughts of their heart.
Even if you don't think it has a big impact on you it really does.
What you say about yourself and others makes a huge difference.
This is how I heard it put once:
If you take a small child and put them in a room with a tape playing over and over again repeating something about them whether negative or positive eventually they will believe it.
Whether the tape said "you're beautiful or you're stupid." the child would eventually accept it as truth because that's the only voice it was hearing.
Are you blocking yourself off from the voice you should be listening to that says you are fearfully and wonderfully made? Instead choosing to play a tape of negative affirmations that will become truth for you if you let it?
There will always be two contradicting voices telling you opposite things, which is why you need to know the word of God to determine which is truth and which is false.
Then it's up to you to accept truth.
"I set before you life and death, choose life."
Start today and choose to speak out positive things about yourself and others, even if you aren't really feeling it, do it any ways, you can change the tape, if it's been negative for years switch is out for something much, much better.
"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." - Proverbs 12:25
Another thing that will help change your words and thoughts is becoming aware of what you are feeding yourself.
I don't mean literally (although that's always a good idea) I mean spiritually and emotionally what are you allowing to grow?
Do you consume magazines you know don't cultivate healthy thoughts about yourself?
Do you listen to depressing music all the time? Or stalk other people on Instagram you wish you could swap lives with?
Whatever you take in will show itself in some way. Whatever you focus on will grow.
Also, who are you surrounding yourself with? I'm pretty sure I mentioned that in my last blog post as well but it's so important!
If you are around other people who are negative and are always saying negative things you will become like them and you really don't want that.
Those are the people who see life as a horrible thing, who are cynical, depressing, always focus on the bad, when something goes wrong they expect it to just get worse.
They are not people who will help propel you to the next level of you future, who will encourage you, support you, and inspire you.
If you want to work towards becoming a more positive person, with positive words then get around some people who inspire you to do just that!
Even if it means letting go of some friendships, God is shaping you so that he can use you in great ways but it could be that your negative words are holding you back from the plans he has for you.
Start practicing speak out faith filled words, with you trust not in yourself, or in someone else but in God alone.
"But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." - James 3:8
We can't do it on our own. We need God's help to tame our tongue and to reprogram our mind to speak words of life and hope. Our words are powerful weapons. Weapons are not bad (I'm not getting into a gun control debate here so hang on) it's the way you use them. Pretty simple but true. It's not words that are bad it's just that they are powerful and we need to understand the power behind them so we can use them to advance God's kingdom and glorify him.
"But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth." - Colossians 3:8
One example I love from the bible is when Miriam spoke against Moses's wife because she was Ethiopian, God became extremely angry and struck Miriam with leprosy and she was shut out of the camp for seven days.
Miriam and Aaron said "Has the Lord indeed spoken only through moses? Has He not spoken through us also?" (Numbers 12:2) Which is then contrasted by Moses's humility.
Their slander against Moses's wife was judged very harshly by God and their gossip came from a source of pride.
Gossip is usually superficial and circulates around outward appearance. It's not pleasing to God.
"Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit." - Psalm 34:13
There's a lot of controversy over what gossip really is. I think that a good rule to follow is don't say anything you wouldn't want said about you.
If you have a problem with someone, if someone has hurt you or you think they need to adjust something in their life go talk to them but check your heart first and make sure you're approaching them out of love and humility.
God loves each one of us and cares what others are speaking over us, he isn't pleased with gossip so guard yourself against doing so.
"Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body."
- Proverbs 16:24
Your words can even influence your health! Make sure you're speaking words of life and healing.
"I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak," - Matthew 12:36
Wow that's kind of a scary thought! Also not something I've heard preached in church a lot but it's in the Word of God so it's the truth. Yes we have grace, yes we can receive forgiveness and everlasting life not based on our goodness but God's graciousness through his son Yeshua but our words and our actions still matter.
They actually matter a lot.
We are going to have to give an account of every careless word we have spoken as well as how we treat others.
Knowing that I try to make a conscious effort to be aware of what I'm saying, consider my heart before saying it and honor God in everything I do. Not I'm not perfect that's why I need God's grace but that is what I strive towards and I hope I've inspired you to do the same.