Elected Officials

The Weight of Words

Eden Edwards November 22, 2021
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Lately, I’ve been thinking about the power of words. How often do we say meaningless things? How often do we speak just to fill space? How many times do we joke at the expense of the people around us? Frankly, I think we do these things more than we realize. And we likely, just as often, fail to consider how our words impact people.


Matthew 12:34b-36 says, “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 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 says that the mouth speaks what fills the heart.  As Christians, our hearts should be full of the Word of God and His truth.  We can store those good things up in our hearts by memorizing scripture and being aware of what we’re watching, listening to, reading, and spending time on—asking ourselves if those things are good and glorifying to Christ. Eventually, the things we consume will pour forth through our speech.  


Next, he says that we will be held accountable for every empty word we have spoken, and further, we will be justified or condemned by our words.  That hits hard for me.  Are all of my words purposeful and meaningful or do they fit “empty?”  Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue . . .” When I think about something that has the power to bring life or death, I think of weapons.  Weapons have the power to take or preserve life.  For example, when using knives, a good rule of thumb for safety is to hold your knife straight out at arms’ length and turn your body in a circle. The area inside the circumference that you just created is called the “blood zone,” and that’s the area no one should be inside of while you’re using the knife.  Similar measures are taken if you’re using a gun.  When you’re holding a gun in your hands, you’re not supposed to wave it around aimlessly. Instead, you should point it either straight up or straight down when not in use.  For example, once you get to the designated place when you’re hunting, you sit down, aim carefully, and think through when to shoot. Once you’ve decided that this is the appropriate time and situation to fire, THEN you take the safety off, shoot, and turn the safety back on afterward.


In the same way, our words have the power to bring life or death and we should take equal safety measures.  Weapons are not intended to be used carelessly. Likewise, words aren’t meant to be thrown around aimlessly.


Before you speak, ask yourself: is what I’m about to say necessary?  Will this benefit the people around me or tear them down?  How will this make the people around me feel?  And ultimately, will this glorify God?  Let’s be the kind of people that leave others refreshed from our conversations, so they can walk away feeling lighter, rather than walking away with an extra burden to carry.  

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”  – Psalm 19:14

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of TeenPact Leadership Schools. To learn more about our Vision & Values, please visit teenpact.com/vision-values/.

About the Author

Eden Edwards

From the midwestern and frequently forgotten state of Iowa, Eden loves her state’s rolling hills and exquisite sunsets, even though it is generally… Read More