Hensley to Heart: The Power of Words

Published 1:30 pm Saturday, April 2, 2022

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The ability to speak and write words separates human beings from all the other billions of living creatures on the earth. Words have power.

They allow us to communicate with each other.

From presidents to toddlers, words are important.

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The Bible says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” When God created the world and mankind, He entrusted us with the power of words. It is important how we use this phenomenal gift. We can change the world by the power of our words.

I’m not one of those people who ascribe to popular church culture of the recent past sometimes referred to as “Name it and claim it.”

This phrase has morphed into “Blab it and grab it.” The implication and intent were that if a person said something and believed it strongly enough, it would come to pass. The power of our words was misrepresented in this philosophy when it represented words only and no effort on the individual’s part to make the words become reality.

By simply speaking something, we do not have the power to make it happen without putting some work and discipline behind our words.

Spoken words do not have the ability to make a new car or a new house suddenly appear, but expressing the need or desire in words can certainly set thing in motion.

Consider the top country singers on the charts. At some point they said out loud or to themselves, “I want to do that,” as they listened to someone else sing. Consider the novelist who wrote a best selling book. They first had to think the words into existence on paper.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

This Bible quote is often used, but few people seem to realize the broad spectrum of its truth. The Bible also refers to blessing and cursing coming out of the same mouth, and that we should not be that type of person. If I have a health concern, the last thing I wasn’t is for people to be speaking the worst possible outcome repeatedly. Some things are best kept to ourselves so that people do not thoughtlessly abuse their power of words that will impact us.

It was Jodi Picoult who made this observation, “Words are like eggs dropped from great heights; you can no more call them back than ignore the mess they leave when they fall.”

As far as the written word, most of us have heard the quote, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” (Edward Bulwer-Lytton) Many military conflicts have been avoided through negotiations, declarations, treaties, and laws whose words were put down on paper and signed by the parties of interest.

A list of documents that govern our country include The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. Brilliant individuals carefully crafted the words with specific intent of power that would hold our nation steady through the years if the words were honored.
The importance of words can be found in multiple forms of communication. Words express emotions and thoughts that we want to convey to others. Words are an important part of instruction and explanations about how to do something. Words spoken or written transfer knowledge and wisdom.

Poet Rudyard Kipling likened words to be the most powerful drug used by mankind.

The words that come out of a person’s mouth have the power to reveal what kind of person they are. In the gospel of Matthew, the Bible says that out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.

I agree with the words of this anonymous poem.

“Watch your thoughts, they become your words
Watch your words, they become your actions
Watch your actions, they become your habits
Watch your habits, they become your character
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”

Judith Victoria Hensley is a retired teacher, writer, photographer and columnist for over 25 years for Harlan Enterprise.