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By Ryan Bridgeo

Avery CountyPastor Ryan Bridgeo Plumtree Church Avery County, NC

I grew up hearing the phrase that sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. But I have found from experience that this just isn’t true. Sometimes words that are spoken have a lasting impact on our lives. What is it about words that cause them to somehow stick to us and cause us pain?

The Word of God teaches that there is power in our words. Proverbs 18:21 (NIV) says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Proverbs 6:2 (KJV) says, “thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.” Proverbs 13:3 (AMP) says, “he who guards his mouth keeps his life, but he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” Proverbs 12:14 (KJV) says, “a man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth.” Proverbs 12:18 (NASB) says, “there is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, But the tongue of the wise brings healing.” When some people speak rashly, or harshly it’s like they are jabbing a sword into someone and cutting them, damaging them, or damaging themselves.  Our words are not just words, they carry power. They create the environment and the atmosphere in which we live.

From these five Proverbs, we see that 1) Our tongue has the power of death.  2) We are snared by our words.  3) When we talk too much we will come to ruin.  4) When we speak rashly, we hurt people like a sword would.  But we also see that 1) Our tongue has the power of life.  2) Our tongue produces satisfying good fruit.  3) If we guard our tongue, we keep our life.  4) The tongue of the wise brings healing. There is power in our mouths.

Matthew 12:36 (NASB) says, “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.” So if God hears every careless word that we speak, I would assume that He also hears all of the other words that we speak, so He can determine which words are careless and which words are not.  In fact, Psalms 139:4 (NIV) says, “Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.” Believing this should change how we talk to each other and talk in general.  Matthew 12:37 goes on to say, “For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.” What we say to each other and God is important.  Therefore, we need to choose wisely what we are saying.

Many people talk to God like it is a telephone conversation. Once they have said everything they need to say they mentally hang up. To them, the conversation is over, and they assume that God isn’t listening to them anymore.  They have their prayer time, their devotional time, and then they mentally hang up. Their life and their time with God are completely compartmentalized like they are punching their timecard at work.  But is this an accurate picture of our prayer time, our communication with God?  What if God hears every word we say just like it is a prayer?

Remember the Book of Job? For almost 36 chapters Job and his three friends are talking and his friends are trying to convince Job that he has sinned and that he needs to repent. But then in the last four chapters, God starts speaking to Job and his friends, correcting them for some of the things that were said. You may remember this verse from the story where God said to Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.” So even though these four men were talking with each other and not to God specifically, He still heard them and had some things to say about their conversation.

Another example is after the 12 spies investigated the land of Canaan. Numbers 14:26-28 record that the Lord said to Moses and Aaron: “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. So, tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very things I heard you say.”  Now were these people who were grumbling and complaining praying?   I don’t believe they were.  But I would like to propose to you that with God there is no difference between prayer time and when we are just talking. He hears it all. Notice God said, “I will do to you the very things I heard you say.”  We are responsible for what we say.

Clearly, our words are especially important to God. The words that we speak flow from our hearts and what is in our heart is important to Him. Jesus said that out of the abundance of our hearts, our mouth speaks. So if you want to know what is in your heart listen to what you are saying. Don’t deny it, don’t suppress it, just listen, and acknowledge what you are saying, and let the Lord help you deal with the root issues behind your words, like fear, trauma, unbelief, ignorance, etc. By owning what you are saying and taking responsibility for it, you can receive grace, mercy, forgiveness, and help to change what you have been saying and begin to speak life because there is power in your words.

Deuteronomy 30:19 says “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” We have all been given a choice in what we are going to say. One way leads to life and the other death. Which one will you choose?  This is a choice we will need to make over and over every single day.  If you love life, speak life – and your words will work for you.  But if you speak death, your words will work for you too.  Life and death truly are in the power of our mouths.  Therefore, we need to be speaking life because there is power in our words.  2 Corinthians 4:13 says, It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak.”


Ryan Bridgeo is the Pastor of Plumtree Church in Avery County, NC. If you would like to know more or how you might become involved in this ministry please reach out to Pastor Ryan at or call 828-765-6919.

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