by Brianna Lindahl

Words hold potential for which I often fail to give them credit. Whether written, spoken or heard, words impact people. Words are able to inspire a passionate teen and convict a searching soul; they can depict the sacrifice of one life for another and spew malice and hatred. An expansive power—their purpose must be carefully chosen because words have a powerful impact on human life.

Words are our personal sword. Whether used offensively or defensively, they still contain an eternal power. As C. S. Lewis speculated, “You have never talked to a mere mortal.” Every spoken word will push the hearer closer to heaven or closer to hell. Too often the responsibility of this sword is not considered.

Swords are tools, not toys; they are dangerous. Broken families, marriages and friendships are examples of misused words—or lack thereof.

Although they are not rare, words are valuable. A force that has the power to convict, inspire and change the world should be coveted by everyone, but covetousness is not necessary because man is created in the image of God.

Lack of communication is perhaps more dangerous than spoken words themselves. An unresolved discrepancy leaves room for speculation. The void that is left from unspoken words will be filled with assumptions by the person that has not heard. These assumptions easily lead to misconceptions and miscommunications between the people that they affect.

The power of words is so great that it even affects unspoken words. Spoken words also contain unique qualities. A spoken word can never be redone, taken back or made over. Every word will either encourage or tear down the person whose ears receive the message.

Although they are not rare, words are valuable. A force that has the power to convict, inspire and change the world should be coveted by everyone, but covetousness is not necessary because man is created in the image of God.

God has given most of us the gift of speech and the ability to think. This gift is something that cannot be given away, stolen or lost. This gift has value. A gift of such value should not be used lightly or carelessly; it should be used with intention and wielded with confidence. The intention of the words is to point people to Jesus Christ.

Words are a blessing. People are able to communicate and hold conversations. Words give us the ability to whisper secrets to a friend or to protest. Words can be used to comfort a friend or pierce the heart of a nation. They can hurt or help many, and their impact is unfathomable. Words are a powerful, valuable gift that God has given us. Use them wisely.

Brianna Lindahl is a freshman professional writing major.

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