Last weekend I had the privilege of sharing a weekend with some very special ladies from Vancouver, Washington. They rented a beautiful home in Oceanside, Oregon and we had the opportunity to share His Word and use our words to encourage each other.
As I prepared for this time together, the Lord spoke to me that He wanted to add potency to their words. He also told me that most people will never have the opportunity to speak to crowds, but everyone has their ones and twos. Someone did a study and discovered that the average person will over their lifetime (from age 5 to 78.3 years) will interact to over 800,000 people. That is a lot of opportunity to speak encouraging words and share Jesus and His hope!
I also learned that it is a lie that women speak more words than women. Women average a little over 16,000 words a day, men just under 16,000! So we are not much different from each other. We each have been given the treasure of words. If we value those word treasures (out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks) then we will be more careful how we use them.
There is an old adage “think before you speak” is still a good rule to live by. Many are careful not to speak harmful words–but I believe we can add potency to our words in some very intentional ways.
- Edit your speech. 2 Timothy 2: 16 Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior
2. Guard your heart from all bitterness. Letting the peace of God rule your heart.
Col 3:15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
3 . Be consistent. For bitter water and sweet water cannot flow out of the same tree.
Luke 6:45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
4. Be careful of the tone of voice you use. How does the Spirit of God speak to you? Try to develop this tone as you speak to others.
5. Read, study and meditate on the Word of God. It helps clear our heart from our own ideas and helps us think God thoughts.
6. Learn to speak the “language” of those we are talking with to make sure you are communicating well.
7. Practice looking outward–it really is not all about you. When others sense you really care through your actions, they will listen and receive easier.
8. Relax! You are part of God’s plan for someone, but not the whole plan! Apologize when necessary, express your love and care. Forgive yourself and move on.
When I am talking about “potent” words, I am not talking necessarily about using religious words, but words that are filled with His life, love and mercy. Yes there may be times we need to exhort or correct, but that is probably not our responsibility for most of our 800,000 people! Sharing the good news is our first call. Learning to love others with our words is the opportunity we all have. May the Lord helps us develop potent words for His Kingdom-sake.