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Change the Conversation // Episode 1 // The Power of the Spoken Word

We are so excited for the launch of our team podcast, Change the Conversation. We invite you to listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, I Heart Radio, and RSS to listen to the full episode. (Or click this link: https://rss.com/podcasts/changetheconversation/ )


This blog post is where you can find Annie's written notes and accompanying scripture verses that go with the first podcast episode.


So, without any further ado, let's get into it!

Episode 1 // The Power of the Spoken Word


Words are a HUGE deal to God.


Why?


Because, as cliché as it sounds, they literally hold the power of life and death. (Proverbs 18:21)

There are 1,225 verses referencing mouth, lips, words, or tongue (Strong’s)—taught by instruction. Additionally, we’re taught the power of words all throughout the Bible through story.


We see power of life and death being in the tongue right from the beginning:

  • God spoke creation—LIFE—into existence

  • The words the enemy spoke to Adam and Eve brought sin—DEATH—into existence


POWER OF OUR WORDS: DEATH—4 Dangers of the Tongue

  1. Our words have the power to grieve God. Ephesians 4:29-30 (NIV) Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

  2. Our words have the power to destroy unity. Proverbs 16:28 (NIV) A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends. Proverbs 15:1b (NIV) ...but a harsh word stirs up anger. And unity is a big deal to God. In John 17, just before Jesus goes to the cross, He prays for Himself, for His disciples, and for the unity of all believers.

  3. Our words have the power to cause emotional harm. Proverbs 26:18-19 (NIV) Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!” Proverbs 26:22 (NIV) The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts. Proverbs 15:4b (NIV) ...but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. Anything we speak should line up with the Word of God. Nothing we speak about others (or about ourselves!) should be contrary to God’s Word.

  4. Our words have the power to cause spiritual harm. Matthew 15:18 (NIV) But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. James 3:6 (NIV) The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts [defiles] the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

Words are a WORLD OF EVIL because EVERY form of evil can be displayed through our words. The tongue is a small part of the body, but it holds the power to set the whole course of one’s life on fire. For example:

  • I hate you vs. I love you

  • You’ll never amount to anything vs. you can do all things through Christ

  • You’re worthless vs. you’re so valuable

*spoken to others OR to ourselves! BUT, on the flip side,

POWER OF OUR WORDS: LIFE

  1. Our words have the power to bless God and honor God.

  2. Our words have the power to protect and promote unity.

  3. Our words have the power to bring emotional strengthening and encouragement.

  4. Our words have the power to bring spiritual strength and encouragement.

Proverbs 10:11a (NIV) The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, Proverbs 15:4a (NIV) The soothing tongue is a tree of life, Proverbs 15:1a (NIV) A gentle answer turns away wrath,


So because there is so much power in our words, we have to be purposeful about them—not perfect, but purposeful. To understand the power of the spoken word, there’s one last thing I want to point out before we move into discussion—the connection of our heart, mind, and mouth:


Matthew 15:18-19 (NIV) But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.


What’s cool about this connection, though, is that just as our hearts and minds influence what comes out of our mouths, so do our mouths have the power to affect change our hearts and minds! What our mouth speaks has the power to influence what our heart feels and our mind thinks!


Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.


Our mouths can build others up AND ourselves up.

Phil 4:6-7 (NIV) Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. When we speak prayer, praise, and thanksgiving, God produces peace—for us individually, but also in our environments.

Our tongue is the most powerful weapon we possess.

Throughout Scripture, we see spoken words of praise and thanksgiving out of Scripture:

  • Produce peace—all throughout the Psalms

  • Win battles

  • Break prison cells open

  • Defeat Satan

  • Bring people to Jesus and change cultures!


FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS

Let’s note a few things from so many of the conversations we see Jesus having in the gospels:

  • They strengthen and edify

  • They teach and instruct

  • They convict and inspire

This is how Jesus created a culture within his disciples—and this is how Jesus changed culture! Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

This is the kind of conversationalist we want to be—the kind that brings life to another and sharpens another. We want to be the kind of conversationalist that sets a culture wherever we are!

Conversation creates a culture.


Matthew 12:36-37 (ESV) I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified [declared righteous], and by your words you will be condemned.” MEASURES BY WHICH TO WEIGH OUR WORDS

Are your words righteous and wholesome or evil and unwholesome?

Righteous words, wholesome words...

Philippians 4:8-9 (NIV) Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Remember, our mind is connected to our mouth. These are the things we are to think on, and these are the things we are to speak on. Another tool by which to measure our words is the fruit of the spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23a (ESV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; Evil words, unwholesome words….

Obscenity, foolish talk, coarse joking (Ephesians 5:4) Grumbling, arguing (Philippians 2:14) Anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language, lying (Colossians 3:8-10) Cursing other people (James 3:9-10)

And basically, anything CONTRARY to the above verses.


Give us the mind of You, Lord. Allow us to speak Your words in wisdom and love. We want to see Your glory. Knowing this is the topic You've given us for today, give us the strength to see it through and apply it to our lives. We no longer want to speak death, but only life. In John 14:6 Your word says, You are the way, the truth and the life. Help us to speak only You! In Jesus' name. Amen

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Change the Conversation—because there is power in purposeful conversation. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast so you can get notified every time we release a new episode!