You have probably heard the old saying, “sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.” Wrong! It’s because words have such a powerful effect that we devise defenses against them. If words truly did not matter we wouldn’t put as much emphasis on the power of words.
Negative Words are Damaging
Negative words can be more damaging than a stick or stone breaking a bone. A broken bone will heal within a few months, but a damaging word can cause pain for a lifetime. Think about the young man that was continually told he was going to be like his sorry no good father.
After hearing these damaging words day after day, year after year he begins to believe them. When he grows up he becomes a living testimony of the very words that were spoken over his life.
Think about the young woman that was constantly told she was ugly and no man would ever want her. Hearing these negative words infiltrates her thinking and it results in her believing the lie. She begins to give herself over to any man that approaches her with enticing words.
Her self-esteem and confidence has been deflated because of the degrading words spoken into her life. I can give story after story of the devastating effect negative spoken words can have in a person’s life.
“The Five Heartbeats”
One of my best stories that illustrate the power of the spoken word was in my favorite movie, “The Five Heartbeats.” In a scene early in the movie, Eddie Kane, Jr. was talking to his father about his singing aspirations. During their conversation his father made what I thought was a very damaging statement.
Eddie was sharing with his father his desire to become a famous singer and his father commented by saying, “I wasn’t nothing so you will never be nothing.” He said more seasoned words than I used, but you get the point.
In the movie Eddie became the famous lead singer of The Five Heartbeats. The fame and fortune would soon become Eddie’s Achilles heel and eventually cause him to venture down the wrong road. He went down the dark, unforgiving road of alcohol and drug abuse.
He forfeited his fame, fortune and family for perceived pleasures. I believe the power of his father’s earlier spoken words had a drastic impact on the way Eddie Kane, Jr. turned out.
I know that this is a movie played by actors, but in real life there are millions of individuals that are living defeated lives because of the damaging words spoken over their lives. They have allowed the negative words to keep them in a perpetual hostage mentality. They believed the detrimental lies of the enemy and thus live life void of God’s vision.
The Power of Encouragement
What if we decide to season our talk with positive and encouraging words? What if we decide to permanently close our ears to others negative and pessimistic spoken words and tune into what God has to say about who we are and what we can do? What if we stop believing the curse words of the enemy and start believing the elevating Word of God?
I suggest that you read God’s Word for empowerment, listen to empowering messages, read inspiring blogs and books and surround yourself with people that will encourage you to achieve better.
At the end of the Five Heartbeats, Eddie Kane Jr. was restored. One of the former group members, Choir Boy, encouraged him by letting him know that God could change his life. Choir boy took it upon himself to go after his friend. He knew God could take a shattered life that was in a million pieces and put him back together again better than ever.
At the end of the movie we see Eddie singing in the church choir, his family was restored and he was overcoming his alcohol and drug addictions. The power of encouragement can do wonders in the life of an individual. Eddie Kane Jr. went from on top of the world, to the valley, to restoration.
I definitely know sticks and stones will break bones, but I believe the power of encouraging and empowering words can change a person’s life. When our spoken words are seasoned with God’s life changing Word we will see self-esteem rise, the suicide rate plummet, discouragement transformed to encouragement, peace of mind overshadow depression and defeat turned into victory.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21
Question: How has the power of words affected your life in a positive and negative way? Leave a comment below.