I'm often appalled at the things that come out of my mouth. Just the other day, my ten year old said to me, "MOM! That's sarcasm and we don't do sarcasm in this house!"
Yikes. Out of the mouths of babes.
But it can be so much worse, can't it? I imagine you know what I mean.
Most of us have heard the teaching from Proverbs 18:21 "The tongue has the power of life and death...." (NIV) With it we can encourage and strengthen, and also we can condemn and destroy.
But there is another passage of scripture that informs me more deeply and fully the truth of the Proverb above.
It's found on the first pages of your Bible in Genesis 1; it boils down to three little words:
"And God said".
God created with words. He spoke it all into being. His utterance brought forth sun, moon, sea, and land, not to mention human beings. His speech has power.
And we are made in His divine image. We are image bearers: imago dei.
That means our words not only matter, they hold power.
Cutting words spoken in anger not only bruise the heart, they crush the spirit.
Mean names shouted to insult seer the soul, leaving scars.
Nasty phrases uttered carelessly tarnish perceptions and darken vision.
Love-filled declarations bring joy and security.
Truth-bearing promises offer hope and build trust.
Humble repentance restores and brings healing.
We speak with power and authority because our creator God gives us the weighty gift of being co-creators with Him. In so many ways, in our individual lives and families, we are doing the work of creating every single day. We create harmony or disharmony, gladness or regret, encouragement or disillusionment, closeness or separation.
It's our choice.