In our family we like to take some time to be still on Sunday, here are some thoughts I'd like to share with you in the stillness on this Sunday...
‘In the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ John 1:1
After walking and talking directly with Jesus, John knew and witnessed the power of a word. You don’t have to have met Jesus to understand this. I work for TransPerfect a global business that translates and interprets words into multiple languages all over the world, because the words we speak and the language we use matters.
A word can change a life. It can change the world.
‘I love you’. ‘Will you marry me?’ ‘Yes’. ‘No’. ‘I’m sorry’. ‘I forgive you’. ‘Happy Birthday’. ‘Thank you’. Or even just ‘hello, how are you?’
Our words are powerful, but do we realise the power of our words? To encourage or discourage? To affirm or criticise?
In John 5 Jesus talks with a lame man. He sees him as a precious and individual person with his own unique personality and asks him, ‘Do you want to get well?’ Then he encourages and affirms as he speaks life over him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ This man had been disabled for 38 years. We don't know about the words of discouragement and criticsim he heard, but I can guess he heard lots. People probably told him his future prospects were very limited, but Jesus had a different word for him. A word of encouragement and affirmation. He had a choice on that day, listen to critics or listen to hope.
Last September a wise friend (Hilary Pilcher) taught me to be aware that well-meaning people that are very close to us can discourage and criticise us. This happened even to Jesus, (Matthew 16:23), so we can expect to encounter it too. If we are unaware of this we can allow their criticism of us, that is motivated by their own fear and insecurity, to direct and lead our life. It is important we only allow words that come from a pure heart to have directive authority in our life. It is only these words we should allow to shape and mould our identity.
Perhaps you can think now of words that have been spoken over you that were not constructive in nature? That have wounded and hurt you, and have left a scar? Words that did not come from a pure heart or motivated by love? Decide that you will no-longer allow these words to have authority in your heart and over your life. The time that that these words have moulded, shaped and directed your path has finished. Decide it is finished.
Or maybe you have been the discourager and the negative critic? Maybe you can think of a time when your words were not helpful or constructive. Maybe these words were spoken long ago, but you still remember them? It’s not too late to go back to the person and apologise and to tell them that you were wrong. It is never too late to repair a relationship.
A friend shared with me how she was told constantly that she was wicked, naughty and would never be any good. She allowed these words to be true without ever considering them. For a life time she had accepted these words as true. They had moulded, shaped and directed her path. She decided it was finished. It was done and that from now on she would only allow truth about her to have authority in her decisions and would no-longer listen to the lies whispered or sometimes screamed into her ear.
‘If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal’ (1 Corinthians 13:1 NLT). Let your words be language filled with love, encouragement and affirmation today – happy Sunday.