All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.James 3:7-12
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Words are powerful and words can do damage. More than that, a harsh word can turn into a curse over a person’s life. They can become like a deadly poison. This is especially true if the harsh word comes from an authority figure in the person’s life (parent, teacher, coach, pastor, etc).
This is how it often happens. A harsh word is spoken. The person receives the word and either actively or subconsciously agrees with it. Then this word is used by the enemy to enforce that word over the person’s life. For example, a dad says to his son in anger, “You’re such a screw up!” The son wants to reject this word but can’t. The son lets this word sink in. His heart agrees with it. The enemy uses this to cause issues in the son’s life from this point on, from failing grades to getting fired from jobs. Over time, the enemy tries to re-enforce this word with as much evidence as possible. It becomes a “curse of words.”
But it doesn’t just happen between parents and children. It can happen between friends. It can happen at work. It can happen anytime a person speaks a word against you that isn’t in line with what God says about you. Curses come like an email with a virus attached to it. If you delete the email, no harm is done. However, if you open the attachment, the virus infiltrates your computer. If we reject the harsh word spoken against us, it falls to the ground powerless in our lives. But if we agree with it, it can be used by the enemy against us. This can even happen to words we speak over ourselves.
So what do we do?
Jesus’s death and resurrection has made us new creations. He has authority over everything and He has delegated His authority to us. So, in Christ, we have the authority to break these curses that have been spoken over us. The first thing we have to do is break any curses that have already been spoken. Here is a sample prayer for this. Pray this prayer out loud:
In the name of Jesus, I break every curse of words against me. I take every word captive that I spoke over myself. I break the power of those curses. I cancel every assignment of darkness and remove every right of the demonic to afflict me because of those curses. I cast every word of cursing to the ground to be without effect. And I call blessing to fall on me in its place. I take back every curse I have spoken against another. I cast those words down to the ground to be without effect. I return a blessing on those whom I have cursed. Jesus took my curse so I can live in blessing.
The second thing we need to do is protect ourselves from any future word that comes at us. If someone speaks a harsh word against your identity (could be from your family, your workplace, or friend) don’t let it sink in. Have you ever had a comment from someone just kind of hang on you? It circles around in your mind over and over again? That’s because its trying to land. Don’t let it. Here are some steps to work through:
- Reject the word out loud. Pray, “In Jesus’s name, I reject the word that I am _______________ that was spoken by ____________. I do not agree with it. More importantly, God, I know that you don’t agree with it.”
- Proclaim what God says about you out loud. Pray something like, “God, you say that I am a new creation in Christ. You say that I am a beloved child of God. I am robed in righteousness. I am forgiven and washed clean.” List your real identity, who you really are, in Christ.
- Ask God to reveal areas you need to work on. Pray something like, “Holy Spirit, would you form in me the character of Christ. Make me more like Jesus. Show me an area where I need to step into my real identity in Christ. Show me where I am falling short. Show me any lies I am believing. Show me who I need to forgive and who I need to ask forgiveness from.”
Rather than trust someone who spoke a harsh word to you in anger and rather than believe an off-handed comment of sarcasm or ridicule, we need to trust the Holy Spirit to reveal areas that we need to surrender. Whenever the Holy Spirit reveals an area of sin or spiritual immaturity in our lives, He does so wrapped in grace and compassion. The Lord’s words of correction bring conviction but never shame and guilt. The challenge comes with encouragement and a reminder of who we really are in Christ.
So, are there words hanging over you right now? What words do you need freedom from? Ask God to reveal them. Jesus came to set you free and to see you live in freedom.