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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Withering Words

Autumn is around the corner and the leaves are beginning to turn. Soon they will wither and fall and the trees will be bare branches reaching to the skies.

Jesus once cursed a fig tree which had no fruit on it, and by the next day it had withered and was dying. There may be many lessons that can be taken from that but for me today I’m thinking about the power of words. The withering of the fig tree is a visual demonstration of the power words carry. Power to bring life, and power to bring death.

How many times have I used words which have caused someone to wither? I hope not often. I can remember a few times when a person has said something sharp or critical to me and that sharpness has caused something inside me to wither.

On the other hand, words are powerful to bring life. Many things are written in the Bible about the power of the spoken word to bring life or bring death. 

Jesus warned his followers to be careful with what they said, because we will be judged by every careless word we have spoken. Although many understand that to mean something for the Judgment Day, I think it means that uttering careless words is more powerful now than we imagine. 

We only know that which we see, but Jesus has given us many illustrations and parables and sayings which illustrate that what we see is not the reality that will last. What we don’t see, what is happening in the supernatural realm, is what will last. And what we say affects that realm more than we imagine, despite all the teaching in the Bible. 

In the Old Testament, Jacob stole the blessing which should have been the elder twin Esau’s. He tricked their father into bestowing his dying blessing on him. That may seem a silly thing to be upset about, if all it is is a bunch of words. But if the words have power to effect change, to affect the whole course of our lives, then the upset felt by Esau is more understandable.

May God bless you today and help you to keep a tight rein on your tongue, and me to keep a tight rein on mine. May he inspire me to speak words of life to all I meet, words which inspire hope and give peace even in the turbulent times in which we live.

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