Are the words you speak a weapon or a cure?
Like food nourishes our bodies, words nourish our spirits and bodies. The ones we say to ourselves, even silently and internally, as well as the ones told to us and about us, and the ones we say about others - they all hold power.
If God created the world with words, I wonder what worlds we create with ours?
Every negative word you speak leaves a mark, and every beautiful thing you say plants a seed, waters the garden, gathers the harvest. That doesn't mean that all your words need to be fluffy unicorn, cotton-candy words.
Using your words to stand in the gap for someone is beautiful. Using your voice to finally tell your truth and seek justice is beautiful. Using your words as a witness is beautiful. Expressing your grief and sadness is beautiful and healing... words don't have to be sickly positive to be nourishing, just gracious and honest.
"If there is poison in the words, you are poisoned; if there is nourishment, you are nourished; if there is beauty, you are made a little more beautiful. In Hebrew, the word dabar means both word and also deed. A word doesn't merely say something, it does something. It brings something into being." Frederick Buechner.
"Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate, and to humble." Yehuda Berg.
"All I need is a sheet of paper and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside down." -Friedrich Nietzsche.
"A word after a word after a word is power." Margaret Atwood.
"One of the main tasks of theology is to find words that do not divide but unite, that do not create conflict but unity, that do not hurt but heal." Henri Nouwen.
"Sharing words of wisdom is satisfying to your inner being. It encourages you to know that you've changed someone else's life. Your words are so powerful that they will kill or give life, and the talkative person will reap the consequences." Proverbs 18:20-21.
Words are their own kind of weapon, and their own kind of cure. They can create an environment that tears down or provides nourishment.
What power will you give your words?
Listen to the tone, the sensation in your body when you say them, the thought behind them, they are all clues as to what kind of world you are creating when you open your mouth.
We all say a lot of words, sometimes without thinking too much about them, and sometimes in the heat of the moment, and sometimes out of grief and pain and heartache. There is grace for your words. The ones unsaid, the ones you say, and the ones you hear.
The more we take responsibility for what we say and the words we take on, the more deliberate we can be about the world we are trying to create.