How powerful are our words? EXTREMELY powerful. Proverbs 18:21 says that "Life and death are in the power of the tongue..." Life...and Death. That's pretty powerful!
Imagine you've put yourself out there with your particular giftedness...let's take "art" as an example. You're having an art show and because you're new on the scene, no one knows who you are. So you're floating around the room as art show enthusiasts are admiring your canvases. You hear hundreds of people admire what you've done...they can't say enough kind things about the content, texture, dimension and intensity you've achieved. But you come upon one progressive-looking couple who is studying one of your works of art and you overhear them say, "I don't get it. The form is all wrong. The color saturation is off. I just don't think they'll ever make it."
What are you going to remember? The hundreds of people you overheard admire all of your work...or the one couple who just harshly critiqued one painting? I can guarantee you'll remember the one critique. It may even be enough to cause you to give up on art for life.
We know words are powerful whether we admit it or not. Our spirit knows. And we can build up or crush someone's spirit with what we say. Life or Death. And we are on the constant lookout for someone who will build us up--we gravitate towards them. Our spirits are hungry...most are starving. I recently heard Dr. Barry Lenhardt say, "There's no such thing as constructive criticism." Don't you think that usually comes out of a jealous heart? When we're jealous, we're looking for ways to tear down...so we look better. We'll never speak life as long as we're jealous. And our jealousy only makes us look small.
Choose today to build up those around you. Speak words of life and affirmation. Look for things to admire in others and don't just think them--speak them. Everything which God created, He did so with words. He spoke and it existed. See? There is life in words. It may be that something you speak to someone today may restore or create life...maybe even a destiny they'd never imagined. It begins with a generous, willing heart to notice the greatness in others and speak it. Create life with your words! You'll never be more like your Father than when you create with words.
"I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live." Deuteronomy 30:19