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The Power of Words

"These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: [17] A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, [18] An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, [19] A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." (Proverbs 6:16-19 KJV)

Words can have powerful effects. When you consider that over a hundred lives were lost in WWII for every word of Adolf Hitler's book Mein Kampf, you begin to envision the power of words.

Of the seven things listed in Proverbs 6:16-19 that the Lord hates, three of them are sins of the tongue: a lying tongue, a false witness, and one who sows discord. The Lord hates it when we lie, or when we say something untrue about someone else or when we speak divisive words.

Sometimes, we sinners can be rather subtle in using our tongue as a weapon. Some of us hide behind humor to shield any criticism we might receive for saying something. But Proverbs 26:18-19 warns against that practice. It says, "Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows [19] is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, 'I was only joking!'" (NIV)

Words are so common, and so easy to manufacture that the importance of a single word can easily be lost in the sheer volume of words spoken, read or heard in a single day. How important is a word? 

Ask a father who just heard his daughter say "I do" on her wedding day. Ask a mother who anxiously waited for her child's first word and heard "da da" for the first time. Do you remember the tension in the court room when O. J. was waiting the hear the word "not" before the word guilty? Or do you remember how long it took you to recover the last time someone gossiped about you?
 

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