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The Power of Words

Words are powerful. They do more than just convey information. Our words have the power to build up or destroy.

How are you using your words?
Are you conscience of the things you say?
Have you looked at how people react to the words that come out of your mouth?

The writer of Proverbs tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue. Words can inflict wounds that people silently carry for years leaving unseen scars that get passed around. Words can also inspire and motivate someone to achieve their dreams and goals.

I was raised to believe that words are more than sounds we utter from our lips. God spoke everything into existence and I am designed in God’s image, so I must be careful with the words that come out of my mouth. My most influential lesson about the power of words came in the midst of a Christmas celebration. This particular Christmas would be the first Christmas that my mother-in-law would receive a photo with all her grandchildren. My oldest son was her first grandchild and the only boy at the time, he was 5 years old. My sister-in-law had two daughters, at the time, they were 2 and 1. The girls wore beautiful red velvet dresses accented with plush white ruffles with matching bows in their hair. My son wore a little black suit with a red handkerchief that matched their dresses.

My son was fascinated with this photo because he had been asking for a little sister since the oldest girl was born. I told him God decides who gets born and when. So until that happens you can think of them as your sisters. My son took those words seriously. You could see the pride and joy on his face as he handed his grandmother the photo. No one could mistake his excitement as he impatiently waited for the wrapping to be removed. Family members began laughing as he tried to help his grandmother open the present. The laughter continued as she moved him out the way to finally reveal the photo. You heard several “aaawwws” and “they’re so cute” and then the following words were uttered from the mouth of my son’s great grandmother, she said “the picture would be perfect if he wasn’t in it. He’s too dark.”

Silence fell over the room. I watched in horror as my son burst into tears. You see, he is my complexion. A beautiful caramel color, as my grandmother would always tell me. His cousins are light skinned like his great grandmother. I watched her words cut to the core of my son’s soul. I was devastated as I watched the tears run down his face when he looked at me and said “mommy, am I ugly because I’m dark?”

It was in that moment that I had to be mindful of the words that would come from my mouth. I screamed a silent prayer to my Creator asking what to tell His son. I looked across the room and no one dared to say a word against the Matriarch. I looked into my son’s tear stained face and said these words.

God is light and love. When you shine light through a prism you get an array of colors. We are God’s prism and that’s why we are all different colors. Because we are designed in God’s image, we are all beautiful. God made you glorious and you are so handsome. Don’t worry about being dark, it’s the shade God made you and me and when God made us, He said it was very good.

From that Christmas to now, whenever people get color conscience, I have heard my son tell them they are God’s prism. Words have real power.

How are you using your words?

Are you conscience of the things you say?

Have you looked at how people react to the words that come out of your mouth?

Be mindful of your words
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