proverbs 18:21 says it so clearly, and i believe it with all of my heart.
"the tongue has the power of life and death....."
at both of the conferences i've attended recently, influence 2 weeks ago and the orange tour yesterday, there were sessions on the topic of words. "your words matter" with annie downs and "words over time" with mark batterson both focused on the power of our words, what they can do in the present, how they can shape the future and how they can affect eternity.
of course when doing the type of soul searching i've been doing lately, i've thought so much about how the power of words has affected me over the course of my life so far.
friends, i remember very clearly words that were spoken to me as a young 12 year old girl that changed the way i viewed myself in a flash. they were words that told me i was not pretty enough, i was not skinny enough, i was just not good enough. and those lies that we talked about the other day, this is exactly why i have believed some of them my whole life. because my grandmother of all people, spoke certain words to me, and i have never forgotten them.
(here's me at age 11. i couldn't find me at 12, but i'm sure i looked pretty similar...maybe a different hairstyle!)
because of these words, i have believed that i need to compare myself to others in order to receive love. i have believed that i need to measure myself against other people's standards to be accepted. because of these words, there are times that i feel shame when i put food in my mouth. i feel as though if people knew what i was eating i would immediately be judged and chastised.
"no wonder she's not thinner"
"maybe if she skipped a few desserts...."
for 20 some years i have carried the baggage of these words. i have believed ugly, ugly things about myself due to someone else's careless use of words. i have been a prisoner of these words and have believed that this is just the way it is. it would just have to be something i overcome.
but the reality is, Jesus has overcome with 3 words. just 3 words.
"it is finished."
with these 3 words, those words spoken to me over 20 years ago have no power over me! i am free!
here are words that have been spoken over me that are truth and will claim:
i'm thankful for the hearts of jessi and hayley of the influence network. it was during their sessions that the Lord began stirring and whispering and opening my eyes to these truths. i'm also thankful for people like reggie joiner and his team at orange who have a heart for kids and making them a priority
because as i think more and more about the power of words, i am especially sensitive towards the words we speak to our children and other people's children. the truth is that my grandmother did not speak these words with the intention to hurt me, she just did not stop to think about the words she was speaking. remember that words have the power of life and death. remember that what you say to a kid today could be used to empower them or imprison them for years to come.
so what about the apple pie, you ask?
no shame in my game.