The Power of Words
Recently, I had outpatient surgery for my sinuses. I went in early in the morning and was home in the afternoon.
Later, I saw the detailed hospital bill and realized they had given me fentanyl during the surgery. Yikes, I thought! But obviously, I survived.
Opioid addiction has become a national epidemic in America. But it’s not only opioid-based medications that are a problem. A myriad of disorders ranging from depression to behavioral problems has brought a plague of prescription drugs to our nation.
We may be a rich and powerful nation, but we’re weighed down with worry and can’t seem to get out from under this burden without a prescription.
But there is another way to deal with this problem. A surprisingly simple way—words of encouragement.
This may sound too simplistic. Indeed, some psychological disorders require treatment and medications, but genuine and meaningful encouragement is still helpful in severe cases. I’ve seen this firsthand.
A person’s anxiety will weigh him down,
but an encouraging word makes him joyful.
Words are powerful. They can tear down or build someone up. They’re rarely neutral. We hear these words in our minds over and over, like a never-ending recording. It’s called self-talk.
Destructive words go deep. They penetrate our hearts and embed themselves in our minds.
Careless words stab like a sword...
It doesn’t matter who utters these piercing words. When spoken by those we’re closest to—parents, a spouse, siblings, children, friends—their wounding words go deep.
So, how can we counter these careless, piercing words? How can you and I deal with words that wound?
We all need to hear encouraging words of truth spoken often by people we trust. Likewise, we need to speak encouraging words and be genuine and trustworthy to others.
Here is the counter to the words that “stab like a sword”—
...but the words of wise people bring healing.
Notice it says, “words.” Not casual or trite statements like—“Oh, they didn’t really mean that...” or, “just ignore what they say.”
Words of encouragement need to come from people wise enough to know what we need and what is appropriate for us. They also need to be words of truth—
The word of truth lasts forever...
A continuing flow of encouraging truth is the only way healing and restoration go deep enough in our hearts and minds. This will lighten the load of worries and wounds we encounter.
If your heart is anxious and if you’re weighed down with many worries, you need to be around people you trust—people who can encourage you with the truth.
Ask God to help you see encouraging words in His written word, the Bible. If you don’t have encouraging people around you, ask the Lord to help you find people you can trust and who are encouraging, and for His help to be the same way for them.
Ambassador, author of several books, and one member of the pastoral team of Poimen Ministries. This article was republished in part with permission.