I’ve always enjoyed words.

My Grade Two teacher in Saskatoon once asked our class if there was more than one way we could use the word “fell” in a sentence.  The class was stumped.

But then I remembered that someone had read a story to me which talked about how a man had “felled” some trees in a forest.

I shouted it out.  The teacher smiled and encouraged me to keep learning new ways to use words.

Her affirmation that afternoon in my Caswell School classroom has stuck with me all these years.  Her response was life-giving and birthed a growing desire within to love and use words. 

Consider the life-changing power of words.

Jefferson wrote, “All men are created equal.” And America changed forever.

Churchill snarled, “We shall never surrender.” And the British outlasted Hitler.

Martin Luther King preached, “I have a dream.” And a revolution was born.

Jesus Christ said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and a new ethic of love was born.

Words matter. They stir our emotions, mold our character, call us to action and shape our destiny.

Sometimes a single word or phrase is all it takes to shape our history.

A sergeant screams “Charge,” and soldiers throw themselves into harm’s way.

A romantic heart says, “I love you,” and cords of devotion are united forever.

A reluctant child hears, “You can do it,” and a destiny begins to unfold.

Yes, words really matter.

Malicious words breed hate.  Gracious words inspire love and friendship.

Lying words foster cynicism and mistrust.  Words of compassion heal and restore.

Life-giving words are the soil in which a happy, flourishing life takes root and grows.

I have seen how powerful, legacy-shaping words can lift a life:

… from addiction to freedom, and from despair to meaning,

… from fear to courage, and from heartache to comfort,

… from sorrow to hope, and from turmoil to peace.

Words represent thoughts.  And our inner thoughts determine our beliefs, forge our values, drive our actions, and shape our future.

Consider these insightful words from an anonymous author:

“Sow a thought, reap an action.  Sow an action, reap a habit.

Sow a habit, reap a character.   Sow a character, reap a destiny.”

Words that occupy your mind will determine the trajectory of your life.

“As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.” (Proverbs 23:7)

 And words that exit your mouth bring refreshment or sorrow to those who hear.

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12;18)

There is no greater force than the power of words.  This is the incontrovertible law of life.  The disciple Peter said to Jesus, “You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)

Words are the stuff of life.  They make or break.  They build up or tear down.

It is impossible to pursue excellence in our spiritual lives without paying attention to our words, because…

“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.”  (Proverbs 10:11)

Blessings for a week filled with life-giving words.