Words Matter - Elisabeth Klein

When I was in my 20s and 30s, I probably said about 75% of what I was thinking and kept 25% to myself. I was involved in so many conflicts at my church of 19 years that I jokingly said I should get a plaque for most Matthew 18s.

I’m not sure why I felt I could say whatever I wanted.

Free in Christ?
Stifled at home?
Sarcastic by nature?
Who knows?

But now that I’m 50, I probably say 25% of what I’m thinking and keep 75% to myself.

I’m not sure why that’s shifted.

Age?
Maturity?
The Holy Spirit working in me?
All of the above and more?

All I know is that words matter. And I’m so glad I say so many fewer than I used to. (Think of all the apologies I don’t have to say! All the conflicts I stay out of! All the feelings I’m not hurting!)

Words matter.
What I say to myself about myself.
What I say to myself about you.
What I say to you about you.
What I say to you about someone else.
Words matter.

You know this to be true. I bet you can tell me at least one sentence that someone has spoken over you at some point in your life that broke you, shaped you, has stayed with you. (Ohmylands, I can think of at least three right now that BROKE MY HEART WIDE OPEN and then set up camp in there.)

If words that we say begin with words that we think, and if words that we think matter a huge amount (like as much as saying them or acting on them, according to Jesus), then the words I think and the words I say about myself and others MATTER. Like, a lot. Like more than we probably want them to.

God spoke the world into creation.
God blessed with his words.
God also cursed with his words.
Words matter.

And if we’re made in the image of God, and we are, then I think we can assume that OUR words matter as well. That we can bless and curse with our words, whether we mean to or not, which is both amazing and scary as all get out.

So, lately, I’m trying to be more mindful of not only what I say but what I even think about myself or someone else. I’m trying to catch myself. I’m trying to stop the not so good/really bad/unintentional-cursing thought from being thought or spoken over myself or someone else. I’m even calling out those not so good words as agreements or lies that need to be broken. And, in those good moments when I’m really on my game, I think or speak a blessing over me or the other person instead.

Let’s try praying before we think and thinking before we speak and speaking only what is kind and necessary and encouraging.

Because words matter.

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