There’s so much power in the words we speak


Has your mouth ever gotten you in trouble?

I confess, mine has more often than I would like to admit. I have a feeling most of us could do a better job of controlling our tongue at times. Part of the problem is we are all so good at deceiving ourselves.

In Proverbs 18:21, we read “The tongue can bring death or life…” There is so much power in the words we speak. Our words have the power to take or give life. Jesus said, “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

Over the next few weeks, I would like to explore an issue that really gets to the heart of who we are. We’ll focus on how we can get our words right.

We’ll begin with an issue that affects us all — complaining. Whenever I think about complaining from a biblical perspective, my mind immediately goes to the children of Israel. These were God’s chosen people.

The Israelites had been in captivity as slaves for hundreds of years. It would be easier to understand if their complaining was while they were being held in captivity, but their negativity stands out the most when they were free.

The Israelites were in the process of deliverance on their way to the promised land. God was performing one miracle after another right before their eyes. He miraculously provided for their every need. But they griped and they whined and they continued to complain all along the way.

Here is what the people said to Moses: “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt?” (Exodus 14:11)

These people were slaves back in Egypt. Moses didn’t make them leave. They wanted out. Who wouldn’t? Their grumbling and complaining would become a major problem.

Unfortunately, they sound so much like some of us. We complain about every inconvenience or discomfort that comes into our lives.

In Numbers 14:27, the Lord said something to Moses that has convicted me: “How long must I put up with this wicked community and its complaints about me? Yes, I have heard the complaints the Israelites are making against me.”

The Lord referred to the Israelites as a wicked community that was grumbling and complaining against him. How would it change things if you were to begin thinking about your complaining as something you are doing against the Lord?

Steve Greene is the lead pastor of The Point in Seymour. Read his blog at or email him at [email protected]. Send comments to [email protected].

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