Words are the most important gift we receive from God. They allow us a portion of His power-the power to create or to destroy.
Most of us have said…
“I love you”. Or…
“I hate you”.
What were the feelings behind those words? Creation or destruction? How about…
“Let me help you”. Or…
“I don’t care, you’re on your own”.
I was speaking with a close friend who was excited about a new project. When she announced it to people who should have been happy for her, they surprised her with negative responses. She said it felt like there was venom behind their words. Her heart was pierced.
Poison has no purpose but to destroy. To kill.
In this life, we cannot help but be exposed to people who use words to destroy. Even coworkers and family members can be bullies, and many times they don’t realize it.
Sometimes they speak destruction because the changes we want to make in our lives disrupts their comfort zones.
Don’t forget, for those of you out there that have visions for your life that there are others who believe they would not benefit directly from them, so they will be intent on killing those visions before they have a chance to be realized.
But there are those who speak life. Their words will be a healing balm and can even reverse the effects of the venom if you spend enough time with them.
I am not saying that there is no place for constructive criticism, but those words should always be spoken with love-which builds and creates a thirst for greater understanding.
Criticism spoken for its own purpose discourages ideas and darkens dreams into oblivion.
Yet, words of destruction can have a God-given purpose as well-in rebuking the devil.
Christ rebuked Peter, not because He didn’t love him, but because he recognized that Peter’s actions were contrary to the Christ’s purpose.
Mark 8:33 (NIV)
33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Sometimes we must speak boldly and use our words to remind others that the vision God has given us for our lives is without reproach and that we will not entertain any words or actions that hinder us. So, destructive words have a purpose-but from our mouths they must be used carefully and only to the true enemy-who is the devil.
It is not that we don’t recognize that our individual journeys may be difficult. But we must have the discernment to understand when we are being given words of life or words of destruction. Words of life cause us to think and consider our actions. They give us confidence, even if we are uncertain. Words of destruction discourage us and sometimes even make us give up on trying at all.
Are you a purveyor of venom? Or will your words give life?