Monday, 5 April 2021

Words that Build

I’ve often marvelled at what we can create with 26 letters. By combining these little symbols, we can write books, encourage others, set legal agreements in place and convey love and admiration. Conversely, we can also use sets of letters to hurt, pull down and destroy relationships and trust. 

James 3:5 warns us of the dangers of our tongue and the words we speak. “Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (NIV)

In some ways, written words can be more powerful than spoken words. Have you ever received a note or report than has left you devastated, a criticism from a teacher or friend, or just a nasty message from someone who doesn’t like you? Those little combinations of words have the potential to ruin lives and having them written down makes the damage greater. We tend to go back to them and read them over and over.

As writers, we should measure our words, assess them and see if they match God’s standards. Would the Lord be happy with the way we construct our stories and articles? Do they inspire, educate and help or do they put down minorities, poke fun at people and use vulgar language? Do we use our words to write positive notes to others and spread hope?

I encourage you today to think of the words that pass your lips and also those that flow through your fingertips to your laptop. With writing, we have the advantage of being able to edit what we’ve written and change words before the readers view them. When we write a paragraph and leave it for a while, we often see errors when we go back to it. Let’s make a decision today to think before we speak and adjust our thoughts before they spill out unedited and cause pain to those around us.


  1. Great message Debbie. Yes words are very powerful. I had kept a pile of negative reports that were sent home to my parents from my school (40 years ago) when I was going through a difficult period. Every now and then over the years I would take them out and read them and they would make me sad. One day, many years later, I thought, why am I hanging onto these when all those negative words only cause me pain? So I destroyed them, as I should have years before.
    Yes, negative words can have great impact and even keep having an influence on the person for a long time. It's so important that we use words that uplift and encourage.

  2. Thanks Debbie. A good reminder to speak the truth in love. Sometimes Christians (and people in general) can be quick to point out the truth, but we don't always do it in a loving way that builds people up rather than tearing them down. A good test to sift our writing through. Thanks for sharing.