Words Matter (A Lot!)

We all know intellectually that words matter, but we also forget – often. This was brought to my attention again this week when my words got me into trouble.

Sometimes we think that only certain kinds of words matter. The truth is that all kinds of words matter. It’s not just the negative words that matter – the positive ones matter even more.

Here are a few examples:

Angry words matter – they wound others.

Sad words matter – they are a cry for help.

Careless words matter – they indicate we a need to be more careful.

Unclear words matter – they can easily be taken in a way we didn’t mean them.

Negative words matter – they can crush someone’s spirit.

Positive words matter – they can build someone up.

Insensitive words matter – they show a thoughtless spirit.

Kind words matter – they will lift a person’s spirit.

Critical words matter – they will stop someone from trying.

Defiant words matter – they indicate a lack of respect.

Diplomatic words matter – they indicate a careful person.

Enthusiastic words matter – they move people to action.

The list goes on. I read a list of 180 different types of words that the author referred to as tone words. IE, words that indicate a certain tone in our voice that gives our words specific meanings and power.

The Bible warns us about the words that we use. Just in the book of Proverbs we read these statements about words.

Proverbs 12:18 – There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 13:3 – Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Proverbs 15:1 – A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 16:24 – Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue.

Proverbs 21:23 – Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

And then this one from the book of James.

James 3:5-6 – See how great a forest a little fire kindles!  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.

Every so often we need to be reminded – I need to be reminded – just how much Words Matter.

Stay in the Word

Pastor Steve


What if I Don’t Feel God?

I remember talking to a young, recent Bible College graduate, who related that as he preached a sermon he could feel the power of the Holy Spirit come over him. It was obviously a moving experience for him.

I’ve preached hundreds of sermons in multiple churches and in several different countries and I’ve never had that feeling.

Is there something wrong with me?

The subject of feeling God or feeling the presence or power of God is not an easy one to address. It is compounded by our personal experiences and emotions. No one wants to deny what another person says they experienced.

But what if I don’t feel God?

What if I’ve never felt God?

Does that mean that I’m not walking in fellowship with God? Or that I have a sub par faith? Or worse yet, I have no faith at all?

One writer put it this way: When I had expected to feel His warmth, I felt cold. When I had expected to feel peace, I felt fear and anger. When I had expected to feel His presence, I felt emptiness.

Has that been your experience?

I think that it has been the experience of more Christians than want to admit it. After all who wants to admit that they don’t feel God, when everyone else is saying just the opposite?

I don’t know that I have the final answer to this discussion, but there are several things that we need to remember about feelings.

While Scripture talks about feelings, and you’ll see this in relationship to feelings about God in places like Psalm 22:1, our feelings don’t occupy a major place in God’s revelation. Doing is emphasized far more than feeling.

In fact, we’re told that our feelings aren’t always trustworthy (Proverbs 14:12, Jeremiah 17:9, 1 John 3:20). With actions you either do or you don’t, but with feelings you can never be sure.

Another problem with feelings is that something fallible becomes our spiritual guide. While we are on a journey toward ultimate sanctification, we are not there yet. Our feelings or emotions have not yet been fully sanctified. So, what is less than sanctified (feelings) becomes our guide to spiritual reality, decisions and actions. That’s a dangerous place to be.

Instead of focusing on our feelings we need to concentrate on those things that the Word of God holds out to us as reliable guides. Things like faith (1 Peter 1:20-21), hope (1 Peter 1:13), and love (1 Corinthians 13).

When it comes to your feelings it’s best to keep in mind what one writer said; your emotions are gauges not guides.

So, if you don’t feel God, don’t worry. It’s more important to obey God than to feel Him.

Stay in the Word

Pastor Steve