I’ve heard people claim that words are meaningless. “I didn’t mean anything by it,” they say after uttering cruel or hateful words. I don’t agree. Words are powerful. They can hold both positive and negative power. The childhood rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never break me,” ignores the real power of words. Who among us doesn’t remember being called a name, either as a child or an adult? Sometimes the effect of negative words can last a lifetime.
Not only do we interact with each other through words, but through language we build and organize our knowledge. In a Quartz magazine article entitled, “You are what you read,” writer Zat Rana shares that language helps to create our perception of reality.
I invite you to pause and consider the power of words within your life. What do your words create? What influence do the words you read—from books to social media to advertising—have on your life? To quote the psalmist, “Let the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
This message is excerpted from “Word power” by Linda Post Bushkofsky in the March 2018 Gather magazine.
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