Over the past few weeks, I have been led to think about the intentionality of my words and as a result have zoned in on the types of situations that are generated as a result of my words. Growing up, I heard many religious figures quote the bible scripture of “death and life lying in the power of the tongue and those who have it will eat its fruits” (Proverbs 18:21). In this bible verse, it is written plainly about the repercussions of our words, but still I never truly understood or reflected on the true lesson being revealed in this section of the bible. I am very much aware of what I say to other people as I don’t want to put anyone down, and as an educator I am mindful of the words I speak or write to my students. However since I was so attentive or focused on the ways I communicate with other people, I did not take the time to reflect on the words I speak or write about myself.
As a result of my personal observations, I have re-read past journals in an effort to revisit specific things I have said about myself. This was an enlightening experience, because what I observed is that many of my ideas, whether good or bad, have become realities.
I can’t help, but in this moment, to think about all the miraculous events that could come to life if I coupled positive declarations about myself with intentional prayers to God. There are some people who rely on the encouragement and motivation of others in order to make upward strides in their lives, even though the bible offers constant reminders of what is promised to us if we acknowledge the power of our own words. I want to share a few biblical examples to support this point.
Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up as fits the occasion that it may give grace to those who hear.” Speak and write positivity. When exercising your word power, write declarations that will build you up and inspire people who observe positive things come to pass in your life. Since I was in high school, I always asserted I would be a college professor. This goal of mine was something I would always write about in my journals and share with people who would ask me about my career goals. This goal was actualized when I gained my first adjunct position in 2010 and when I was later hired as a full-time faculty member in 2016. Despite the many obstacles that could have disrupted me from stepping into this dream, I still continued on to declare that I would have an impact in this profession. I believe that being an educator was something I have been called to do and my exercising of words promoted this dream becoming a reality.
Proverbs 16:24 “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” The way we use our words could bring about both physical and emotional healing. In times of despair or sickness we should use rejuvenating words to show we believe our circumstance will improve. Complaining about the hardships we are going through or continuing to demonstrate a lack of hope is not a good use of our words. There is a song by Donald Lawrence & the Tri-City Singers, titled “Encourage Yourself”. The song says, “Sometimes you have to encourage yourself, sometimes you have to speak victory during the test. And no matter how you feel, speak the word and you will be healed.” This song has become an anthem for me as I have experienced a wide range of adverse challenges that have required self-encouragement. Use your words as a tool to change your circumstances.
James 1:22 “But be doers of the word and not hearers only deceiving yourselves.” As previously stated, there are some people who rely on the encouragement and motivation of others when attempting to make upward strides in their lives. However, if we act on the words we write and stand in faith we could open many doors of opportunity for ourselves. There is a saying that calls us to “not just talk about it, but to also be about it.” Our words should ignite actions.
Writing our intentions and writing a prayer in support of our intentions could cause our ideas to come to fruition.