They’ve made me feel like a prisoner
They’ve made me feel set free
They’ve made me feel like a criminal
Made me feel like a king
They’ve lifted my heart
To places I’d never been
And they’ve dragged me down
Back to where I began
Words can build you up
Words can break you down
Start a fire in your heart or
Put it out
Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You (refrain)
“Words” by Hawk Nelson, Contemporary Christian artist
I love this song. It is a gentle reminder to take care with my words. Recently I was preparing a lesson for middle school youth group about words and how they have weight. Our words matter. This song instantly came to mind. Coming fresh off of our all church retreat were we discussed our Love Languages I discovered I am a strong Words of Affirmation girl. I don’t seek praise for what I do, but it sure fills my tank when I hear words of affirmation in my relationships. Often times I don’t even realize I needed to hear those words until I actually hear them. On the flip side words can hurt. They can drag us down to a place we never thought we would be. One single word of affirmation or a single negative word can make or break someone’s day. It is funny how the Holy Spirit works. I was planning this lesson right after our weekend and it was the very first lesson that I picked up. That very morning on the way to drop off the kids this song came on the radio. See how the Spirit works? He never, ever stops surprising me with his awe inspiring, amazingly perfect timing.
This song is a reminder to us all that if what we are about to say does not bring glory to God or lift someone up maybe we should refrain from saying them at all. I had a dear friend in high school that told me once after I asked her why she was so brutally honest about things that God knows her heart anyway. Why not just say it out loud? Well, because it hurts others. Yes, we all have unkind thoughts from time to time, but that doesn’t give us the right to hurt others by what we say. As this song reminds us,” Let my words be light, let my words be truth, I don’t wanna say a word unless it points the world back to You” So, if the words we are about to say don’t bring glory to God or lift someone up, maybe we should keep those words to ourselves. Pray over those words before you speak them. Once we say unkind words we can’t take the sting of them back. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 says, You say, “I am allowed to do anything” – but not everything is good for you. You say,” I am allowed to do anything” – but not everything is beneficial. Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others. In other words, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. We can be honest with others without hurting them. Ephesians 4:15 says,” Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.”
We have the power in our words to make or break someone’s day. That is a heavy reality. Our words are a gift. Let’s use that gift to lift someone up today in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Gracious Lord, help us to remember that our words are powerful tools that we can use for your glory or to break others down. Forgive us the times when we forget this truth and hurt others with what we say. Most importantly, thank you for loving us in spite of ourselves. In Your Name We Pray, Amen.