The Power of Words

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit…For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Matthew 12:33-37

Our language reveals our heart. If we continue to lie, there is deception in our hearts. If we continue to speak words that are harsh and condemning, there is anger (and maybe rage and hate) in our hearts. If we continue to push people away with our words, there is rejection in our hearts (because we always feel rejected regardless if that is the truth or not). We will have to give an account of every empty word that we’ve spoken. We will have no defense except the blood of Jesus.

There are many people whose words that they speak are ruining their life. Words have the power to bring life or death to the people around us. “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit“(Proverbs 18:21). Matthew 12 mentions fruit as well. We will eat the fruit of our own words. If our words bring life, we will experienced life all around us. If our words criticize, cut people down, judge, mock, condemn, and punish then we will experience death all around us. That will be the fruit we eat!

Another way to understand this truth is that our critical and harsh words not only bring death to the people around us (and subsequently becomes the bad fruit that we eat) but there is also a boomerang effect to our words. The measure we use will be used against us.

If our measurement tool is full of forgiveness, grace and love, that is the tool that will measure our own life. The enemy will have no place to attack us. But if our measurement tool is full of judgement, anger, resentment, criticism, and perfectionism then that is also the tool that will measure our own life. The enemy will launch attack after attack on our life because we’ve given him a standard of measurement that leaves us completely open to attack. Our life could never hold up to the standard to which we hold others.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Luke 6:37-38

Your words were meant to bring life to the people around you. Your words were meant to bring life to you! “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt...”(Colossians 4:6). We need to examine our heart to see what is coming out of it in the form of words. If toxic words are coming out, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to clean out the deep places of our wounded heart. We need to take off the old self, put it to death, and put on the new self which is being renewed day by day to look more like Jesus.

You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

Colossians 3:7-10

Take inventory of your words and it will reveal the condition and contents of your heart.

What kind of words have you been speaking lately? Have they brought life or death? Have you felt their boomerang effect?

Blessings and Curses

Paul reminds the Galatians that Jesus became a curse for us so that blessing might flow to us. He wrote, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.'[Deuteronomy 21:23] He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit”(Galatians 3:13).

I used to not understand that blessings and curses are real things. I would read the Old Testament passages that seemed to indicate that the blessing of a patriarch would help shape the future of the child who received it (Genesis 27). I would read about how a prophet was hired to put a curse on Israel (Numbers 22). Yet, I just thought words simply encouraged or discouraged. I didn’t think they had any real effect in this world. But I was wrong!

Scripture tries to warn us again and again that our words impact things in the spirit realm and in the natural world. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

James 3:8-10 says, “…no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 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.”

So how do blessings and curses work?

Some curses are intentional but most are unintentional. An intentional curse is an evil appeal for harm to come to someone, especially in voodoo, witchcraft/Wicca and occult practices, and it is usually spoken aloud. An unintentional curse usually comes in the form of harsh and condemning words spoken about a person or words of hopelessness and despair spoken over a person’s life (usually from someone in authority over them like a parent, coach, doctor or teacher).

An unintentional curse could be a father, in a moment of anger, saying to his child, “You’ll never amount to anything!” Those words sink in and are believed. Later that child struggles to be successful and wonders why. Or it could be a doctor saying, “You’ll never have children,” or “You’ll never recover.” These words kill hope and help to bring about what they proclaimed.

The key to these harsh or hopeless words becoming curses is how they are received. If these words are accepted by the person, and there is an agreement made in their hearts, these words then give the demonic world access to the person’s life to bring about that word of cursing. They become self-fulfilling prophecies because the enemy takes advantage of them as access points.

Harsh and hopeless words are like an email sent with an attachment that has malware or a virus. The email may contain harsh words, but the real damage comes when there is an agreement with those words in the person receiving them. It’s like clicking on the attachment that allows a virus on your computer. But if the attachment is never opened, no matter how many emails are sent, the person will not be harmed. This is why we must be vigilant about the words that come against us. We must reject any word the enemy may try to use against us.

The best news of all is that Jesus became a curse for us! He took all of that cursing upon Himself so that we don’t have to deal with it. In the place of cursing, Jesus offers us blessing. He offers us His words over our lives that bring His blessing. And just as curses can have real effect in our lives if we agree with them, blessings can have even more effect if we agree with them.

So not only do we need to speak words of blessing over the people around us, allowing the Holy Spirit to ignite those powerful words in that person’s life, but we also need to stand in agreement with the words that Jesus says about us. Standing in agreement with the words of Christ over our life will help us immediately detect and reject any unintentional words of cursing that may come our way.

If you feel that you’ve agreed with too many harsh or hopeless words that have come your way, make the declaration below to break those curses off of your life in Jesus’s name. Just be sure to say it out loud when you take your stand!

“In the name of Jesus, I break every curse of words against me. I take every word captive that’s been spoken over me, that I spoke over myself. I break the power of those curses from hell. I cancel every assignment of darkness. I cast them to the ground. I call a blessing to follow me in their place. I take back every curse that I’ve spoken against another. I cast those words down to the ground and I return a blessing on those with whom I have cursed. Jesus took my cursing so I could live in blessing!”

From Rodney Hogue’s teaching in Empowered