Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested. (1 Chronicles 4:9-10)
Can you imagine every time that you heard your name it was a reminder that you caused pain, and that the expectation from others was that you would cause more pain? This was the case for Jabez, except he dared to seek God for a new reputation. God granted Jabez his request and he went on to be a blessed man who carried blessing. The good news is, like Jabez, we can through faith and prayer, break the power of destructive words that have been spoken over our lives.
Our Words are Powerful
When someone receives a compliment, the words of encouragement are so enriching and uplifting that they are a blessing to the recipient. We all appreciate positive words spoken of, or about us. When we deal with children and youth, it is easy to see that positive words produce a positive attitude in them. On the other hand, negative words can cause irreparable damage. An angry parent can say to a young child, “You are an absolute failure, and you’ll never make anything out of your life!” Though these words were only spoken in the heat of that moment, they have the power to destroy the child’s self-esteem. This child could potentially be scarred for life. As the child grows older, these soul-destroying words can become so rooted that it happens, just as the parent said!
- The tongue can be a creative force or a destructive force
- The tongue can bring blessing or cursing
- The tongue can be a well of life or a pit of death
The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked. (Proverbs 10:11)
There is more to words than just saying them. Words are an extension of the inner condition of our lives. When positive, faith-filled words spring forth from a healthy inner-man, they are creative and so full of spiritual power. We see this principle in Proverbs 11:11:
By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
The words we speak are so powerful that through what we say we can determine the success or the demise of a city. The words that are spoken can influence the economy, shape the culture and positively or negatively affect the mood of the citizens.
The positive, faith-filled words we speak over our city can change its entire destiny. With this in mind, we should find the good in our city and talk about it. As believers, we apparently have the ability to change the spiritual atmosphere of our cities (this principle can apply to our church, home or business) by speaking blessing rather than cursing it.
All the Proverbs listed below show us the potential for good or for destruction by the words that we speak:
- Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21)
- The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered. (Proverbs 11:9)
- You are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth. (Proverbs 6:2)
The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous will come through trouble. A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth, and the recompense of a man’s hands will be rendered to him. (Proverbs 12:13-14)
The Apostle James also reminds us of the power found in the words that we speak when he says that the tongue can cause a forest fire. I guess on the positive side that words we speak can also stimulate the fire of revival or passion for serving God. (James 3:5-7) Words can ignite faith, hence “faith comes by hearing.” Or we could say faith comes because someone spoke faith producing words. Faith comes because someone speaks words of life and likewise a person can lose faith because someone speaks faith-destroying words.