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Power of words that either break or build: Speak Life

You and I often underestimate the power of words. The written and spoken word, both have great power; to either build a person up or simply break a person’s spirit.  Yet many of us take this rather lightly and often allow words to flow out of our mouths unchecked.

Several decades ago, when I was about 8 years of age, I had this audition to sing for my school choir. It was a BIG deal. I practiced the ever-famous song ‘Country Roads’ many times before belting it out in front of my choir teacher. She liked it and I was accepted to be part of the choir that day. I returned home and shared the excitement with my greatest fan, my mom! She was very happy for me.

What happened some weeks later, is etched in my memory to this day.


While singing confidently with about thirty other choir girls, my choir teacher came up to me and said, “I think you are tone-deaf”! I was shocked, embarrassed, and wanted to cry instantly. Yet I held back the tears to listen to her cut-and-dry assessment which went on for 10 seconds or so but felt much longer. Unfortunately, she chose to do it at a point where I had already considered myself a fairly good singer as well as a permanent member of the school choir. This status changed from that day of course.

Her words cut deep even for an 8-year-old. I returned home that day by God’s grace to receive loving comfort in the arms of my greatest fan. The public embarrassment took me a while to get over. Even when I sang in church thereafter, I was conscious enough to keep my voice level very low. For many years I entertained those remarks in my mind; never fully enjoying the gift from God, my voice. This status has changed too by God’s grace. I now sing praises to His name and worship boldly!


Recently, I read an e-article relating to a similar incident. The author had passionately written poetry and upon showing his teacher some of his work, received the nonchalant comment that it was simply awful. He believed this well into his adult years and only wrote poems for his reading pleasure. This changed after a friend came by the author’s house and read one of his poems. The friend’s simple encouragement resulted in the poems being published. Now more people are able to enjoy the author’s gift of poetry writing and am sure his passion to write has reached new heights.

Although I can still recall the choir incident rather vividly, I sing with much more confidence today. I may not be in a formal choir but I do know that my voice is a special gift from God. On a higher note, I am blessed to join the choirs of heaven daily and experience the truth of God’s precious gift.

Each one of us too is accountable for the words we speak and/or write as it carries life or death. This constant awareness helps us make choices that align with God’s truth and not be careless in our speech.

NOTE: Words are like seeds. They have creative power. Isaiah says, we will eat the fruit of our words. What seeds are you planting? ~ Anonymous 


Chew on this TLC Cookie:

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it and indulge in it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.


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