When I was a child, on my first day at a new school, a teacher asked the class what we wanted to do when we grew up. When it was my turn, I told her I wanted to be a surgeon and she laughed. She said, ‘do you realise David, that is a lot of studying? I can’t see you doing it, I can see you emptying bins’.
For many years, those words stayed with me and sometimes informed the decisions I made. Was there any point in trying, if I wasn’t capable of achieving much? However, when I rededicated my life to the Lord when I was 18, everything changed! I discovered what God thought about me and I discovered that His Word could delete the past and delete all the harmful words that had impacted my life. Although I had no educational qualifications, the Word of God showed me that man’s labels do not matter. The only labels I should be concerned with are God’s labels!
Over the years I have discovered that while God’s words are the most important, the words we use and what we choose to believe, as a result, can also have an impact on our lives. Proverbs 23:7 says, ‘as a man thinks in his heart, so is he’ and I believe it’s important to be aware of the reality of our words and our thoughts.
Our thoughts will affect what we say and our words will affect who we are. Proverbs 18:21 says, ‘death and life are in the power of the tongue’ and so we should never underestimate the power of our thoughts and our words, to shape destinies and our own future. Words can kill marriages and relationships and destroy churches and ministries. But words can also bring life, hope, healing and reconciliation.
In a world which seems to be more divided than ever before (especially on social media), we need peacemakers and reconcilers, believers who will use their words to reflect the life and peace that is found through Jesus. Luke 6:45 says, ‘a good man produces good deeds from a good heart. And an evil man produces evil deeds from his hidden wickedness. Whatever is in the heart overflows into speech.’
I want my heart to be full of God’s Word, full of praise to him, for what is in my heart will flow out into my words and then out into my actions.
Can I challenge you today? What are you thinking about? What are you saying? What are you believing? Are they words of life and hope that reflect what God says about you and the situations you are facing? Or are they words of death and despondency?
As a young man, another person’s negative words could have shaped my whole life, but I am thankful for the revelation of God’s Word which showed me the truth.