Your Words Hold More Power Than You Think

by | May 1, 2015 | Purpose & Identity

How much of your day is influenced by words?

Maybe your day, like mine, progresses something like this:

  • Do my devotions/reading plan on YouVersion
  • Skim headlines on a device
  • Read/write a Tweet
  • Email, email, email!
  • Study/read for my doctorate
  • Watch the news or a TV show

I’m surrounded by words all day, every day. Some are important, some entertaining. All carry a message, which makes them powerful forces either for good or for evil. For example, take the recent attack on and repercussions from French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Tell me those words did not carry weight and power… enough so that people have lost lives and protests have been staged, with governments and individuals pitted against each other, forced to take sides and make statements or take stands.

Consider these statistics: Studies have shown that your typical social media user consumes 285 pieces of content daily, which equates to an eye-opening 54,000 words, and, for the truly active, as many as 1,000 clickable links!

Or, if visuals are more your thing, how about 443 minutes of video? Of course, only the most dedicated of the socially savvy actually read and watch every piece of content they receive, but those that do would need to commit around 12 hours of their day to get their fill.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I clicked the link to watch a YouTube video of the historical “I Have a Dream” speech, and was reminded that there have been words carrying prophetic messages of hope for the future.

This dreamer wasn’t afraid to elocute:

“Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their ‘thus saith the Lord’ far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.” – Martin Luther King Jr. in a letter from a Birmingham jail

Listening to the closing rally “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty we are free at last,” I was jolted back to reality when the next headline in my news feed reminded me that, today, words are being used to make threats on Twitter that have the power to ground flights.

For years my parents traveled the globe to share the most important words ever given to mankind. I can almost hear Dad now, with his eloquently booming voice declaring the power of the printed page!

I love that God chose to give us words, knowing full well their power to share the story of His love.

Every day I get to be a part of something so much bigger than myself, leveraging the power of His words to share the greatest story ever told. No matter how bad things get or how the enemy twists words to bring strife and enmity, there are words even more powerful that trump anything he can come up with.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Prov. 18:21, MEV).

How are you choosing to use your words? Are you simply a consumer—and what kinds of words are you consuming? Or are you a positive contributor?

Rob Hoskins is the president of OneHope. He was born to missionary parents, which is probably where his passion to spread the truth in God’s Word began. He and his family—wife Kim and daughters Diandra and Natasha—live near OneHope’s global headquarters in Pompano Beach, Fla., but their hearts beat on every continent around the world.

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