When I was a kid, a girl walked passed me in the isle of a school bus and said something unkind to me, called me a name I think. I can’t remember what she said, only how I felt afterwards. A kid in the seat beside me quickly recited in my defense, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” “Yeah,” I said, “That’s right.” But now, all these years later, I realize that it wasn’t right. Words can hurt. In fact, they can kill, and if you let them, people will talk you to death—literally.
Words operate on a spiritual principle. Therefore, I am going to be building my position on a spiritual book, the New Testament. It is the book I know best, therefore it is the one I am using. For those not familiar, the New Testament was originally written in Greek and is an account of the life, works, words, acts and letters of Jesus and those who followed him during the first few centuries A.D. The New Testament is a collection of books, kind of like a library, written by some of the followers of Jesus during this time period.
Here is the familiar English passage from the Book of John in the King James version of the New Testament:
“In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things which were made were made by him; and without him was not anything was made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:1-5
Now here are the lines translated from the Greek Bible. While I’ll admit that I’m no expert, I am capable of looking up words in a Greek dictionary and of breaking words apart to find roots and meanings.
At the commencement of, the onset of, the start of, the beginning of, time and all the physical universe was the thought, intent, reasoning, purpose, motive, design and plan.
And the thought, intent, reasoning, purpose, motivation, design and plan was with the Supreme Divinity, the Supreme Magistrate and Supreme Authority—the Ultimate Ruler, Lord of the Universe.
And the thought, intent, reasoning, purpose, motivation, design and plan was God, the Supreme Divinity, the Supreme Magistrate and Supreme Authority—the Ultimate Ruler, Lord of the Universe.
***Personal note: the Supreme Authority is his WORD and his WORD is the Supreme Authority and his WORD is more than a spoken sound. It is a deliberate intent, purpose, design, plan. In Genesis the story of creation tells us that God SPOKE and that his WORD created all the universe. In Colossians we are told that all things are held together by the power of his WORD. He willed it to be and that thought, will, intent, purpose, WORD is still holding it all together.
The next part of this passage in John says, “All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made.”
All things—I was surprised to discover that the word things here is actually the Greek word—RHEMA, which means an utterance, but even more, it means a LIVING WORD! Let’s go on with the rest of this verse…were made, generated, caused to become by him, the WORD, the thought, intent, purpose, mind and plan of the Supreme Divinity.
In the thought, intent, purpose, will, WORD of the Supreme Divinity, was vitality and the vitality was the luminosity of humanity. And the luminosity was seen, appeared, in the dimness, obscurity; and the dimness, the obscurity could not….”
The next few words of that verse are “comprehended it not” but the term for “comprehended” in the King James Version did not match the term in my Greek version of the Bible and I could not find the Greek version’s term in a dictionary, so I wanted to say up front that it is only the term used by the King James scholars that I am translating here, but oh, what a great word it is!
The King James scholars used a word that sounds like katalambano, which would make the passage read something like this… In the thought, intent, purpose, will, WORD of the Supreme Divinity, was vitality and the vitality was the luminosity of humanity. And the luminosity was seen, appeared, in the dimness, darkness, obscurity; and the dimness, darkness, the obscurity could not overtake, control, seize, lay hold on, find, possess, obtain, apprehend or perceive the thought, intent, purpose, plan, design, the vitality.”
So, this passage tells us that God’s WORD is alive, that it is a living entity and as a living entity, it holds together the entire universe .
Now, if we know we are created in God’s image and that his word framed the universe, then it stands to reason that our words also contain power. Let’s see what Jesus said about it, “For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall SAY unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he SAITH shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he SAITH.” Mark 11:23
Spiritual things are created by words, and not just spoken ones but the ones that live in our hearts. Physical things are also created by words. For example, I recently said to myself, just thought it very strongly really, “I wish I had some of those nice paint markers, but the things cost more than I’m willing to pay at Wal-mart.” That very DAY I was in Peddler’s Mall and there was a set of the exact markers I wanted at a third of the cost! Wow…call it coincidence. I don’t think so. I don’t know how many times I’ve wished for something only to have it manifest. On the flip side, I once heard a woman speak her daughter right into the grave and many times I’ve heard people speak themselves sick.
King Solomon once said that life and death are in the power of the tongue. In another place Jesus said, “By thy words thou shall be justified and by thy words thou shall be condemned.” Matt. 12:37
A negative mouth creates a negative environment. A fearful mouth creates a fearful environment. A positive mouth creates good things. So, my point….your words contain creative power. Oh, and back to the people who talk you to death…people who never say anything good about you or positive to you, realize that the mouth that has the most power in your life is yours! There will always be someone there to tell you that you can’t do something or that you’ll never succeed. They are what the late Joseph Campbell called dreamkillers. Ignore them and speak your own reality, the reality of the WORD.