There is power. Enormous power in words.
There is not one thing you can do to take back something that is said in anger or pain.
That you wish you had not said. In your anger. When you hurt.
You can apologize.
You must say you are sorry. You must express regret and sorrow for saying the worse thing you could say, but you cannot take it back.
I read a story once where a father was disciplining his son for repeatedly saying angry, hurtful things to his siblings and friends. He
gave his son one hundred nails and instructed him to nail them into their wooden fence.
When the son completed the task, his father told him now to go back to the fence and pull every nail out.
When the had son finished this, his Dad told him to step back and look at the fence.
“See Son, you can pull those nails out, remove them, just as you can apologize for saying
hurtful, angry things to your brother and sister, but you cannot remove the holes.”
Your reputation can be damaged by words.
Your character can be destroyed by words.
Your life can be turned upside down by words.
Words, hurtful, critical, stinging words are power.
And, we can use use our words to do powerful good.
To encourage. To praise. To soothe a harm. To bring calm. To build up someone’s character. To bring wisdom to confusion. Give love. Grace. Forgiveness. Create peace. Restore hope. Show support. Cheer up. Warm a heart. Make a friend. Change a direction. Instill confidence. Make someone brave. Nourish. Motivate. Inspire. Nurture. Care. Love.
There is power in words.
We all make many mistakes. A person who never said anything wrong would be perfect. Someone like that would be able to control their whole body too. We put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us. With these bits we can control their whole body. It is the same with ships. A ship is very big, and it is pushed by strong winds. But a very small rudder controls that big ship. And the one who controls the rudder decides where the ship will go. It goes where he wants it to go. It is the same with our tongue. It is a small part of the body, but it can boast about doing great things. A big forest fire can be started with only a little flame. The tongue is like a fire. It is a world of evil among the parts of our body. It spreads its evil through our whole body and starts a fire that influences all of life. It gets this fire from hell. Humans have control over every kind of wild animal, bird, reptile, and fish, and they have controlled all these things. But no one can control the tongue. It is wild and evil, full of deadly poison. We use our tongues to praise our Lord and Father, but then we curse people who were created in God’s likeness. These praises and curses come from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, this should not happen. Do good water and bad water flow from the same spring? Of course not. My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree make olives? Or can a grapevine make figs? No, and a well full of salty water cannot give good water. People who work for peace in a peaceful way get the blessings that come from right living. James 3:1-12,18
May I work hard this day to be a peacemaker.
May God’s women speak out to influence others for good.
May His Spirit ever guide our hearts, our minds and our tongues.
May we all play nicely together in this tough, hard world.