How forcible are right words! – Job 6:25
After completing their spelling/vocabulary/poetry curriculum for the school year, my two high school juniors wrote essays about the power of words.
Below is my son’s essay; I’ll post my daughter’s on Friday. We welcome your own thoughts about words in the comments.
Words are a part of our everyday lives. Without words, the universe would not exist. For if we did not have words, how would God have spoken the world into existence? If we had no words, we would have no Bible to teach us how to live, no literature to take us to faraway places, and no way to communicate with one another. Without words, we would not be able to function as a society. Words, however, do not stand merely just to allow the human race to communicate, or for people to get a good laugh. No, words have importance in this world, and more important than the importance of words is the importance of a well-placed word.
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver,” said King Solomon in Proverbs 25:11. Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, “Words: So innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” King Solomon and Nathaniel Hawthorne put it well in what they said. Words do have power and meaning, and words have been used to change the course of history.
During the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address although just three minutes long rallied the entire nation together and set the foundation of American ideals for the future generations of Americans. Winston Churchill’s WWII speeches told the current situation like it was in an articulate, stirring way, that inspired the entire British Empire to “Take their stand for freedom” at whatever the cost. In one of Churchill’s most famous speeches, Churchill said, “If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free… But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States… will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age. Let us, therefore, brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will say, ‘This was their finest hour.’” Although well-placed words have been used to influence the progression of the world, well-placed words are also important in our everyday lives as well.
Many people have had their lives changed because of a few well-placed words. One example is a story by Dr. Charles Stanley. In this story, a man was going to commit suicide, but just as he was getting ready to overdose on pills his television turned on to Dr. Stanley saying, “If you’re thinking of committing suicide, don’t do it because God loves you.” After the man heard those well-placed words he decided to become a Christian and devote his life to God.
Whether you are in high places, in low places, in front of a thousand people, or alone with a single person, I would advise you to invest a part of your brain (even if it’s just a small part) to the knowledge of the importance of a well-placed word.
– Aidan, age 17
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. – Psalm 19:14