In the Old Testament we are told of Joshua that ‘none of his words fell to the ground’. Strange statement? Not when you realise how the Hebrews thought about words. Words were considered to be alive in the sense that they went from your mouth and achieved their intended pupose before returning again. Hence the statement from God in Isaiah 55:11:
So shall my word be that comes out of my mouth; it will not return to me empty but shall accomplish that which I purpose and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
The effect of words is all too often minimised. Words have great power in their effect. One Bible College lecturer likened harsh words to a brick being thrown through a window. It is no good to apologise and say ‘I’ll take back the brick’! The damage is still done.
But words have tremendous power to build up too. Let’s consider the purpose that we use words for and endeavour to send them out from our mouths for building and not breaking.