I’ve often mulled over the power of words.  I think it’s because I’ve heard so many stories of  people whose lives have been deeply impacted by things that have been said to or over them.  Words can build up or tear down.  They can make or break you.  They certainly shape you.  The chant that I learned as a child, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me,” is so far from being true it’s ridiculous.  Did I ever really believe that?

When people speak negative things over us it hurts.  And it sticks.  And it can stick for a very long time.  “You’re stupid / useless / good for nothing.”  You’re this.  You’re that.

And the opposite is true too.  The positive things that people say: the encouragement, the praise, the kind and loving things, also stay with us for a long time.  They also shape us.  The bible encourages us to pursue such positive words.  “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear,”  Ephesians 4:29.

And God’s words are even more powerful than our words.  In God’s words there is life.  When God spoke, the universe came into being.  His words light our way, they are truth, they are always effective, they bring salvation.  They are eternal. 

So when God speaks, it’s important.

And as Jacob lay dying, he spoke the words of God to his sons.  He called them together so that, “I may tell you what shall happen to you in the days to come,” Genesis 49:1.  Wow.  And then he blessed them.

Since this series is on Joseph we’ll look at those words soon, but before we do: have you considered the power of the words you say?  Have you thought about what you can say today that will give grace to those who hear?  And if you too can speak the words of God – who will you speak them to and what impact might you have?