Posted: 3/19/19 at 10:20am. Post by Tony Brooks.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. (James 3:9 NIV)
The spoken word is one of the most powerful ways to bless and to curse.
In Genesis, God spoke the world into existence. Once you speak a word, it takes on a life of its own (See Genesis 27 and Isaac’s blessing if you don’t believe me!) Jesus healed with just a spoken word. He also chastised the money changers at the temple and the religious leaders many times. So how do we need to approach our words? Here are some ideas:
- Help your class members stop complaining. When we spend time complaining about how bad things are, we lose the power of sharing Good News! Many years ago, I discovered Will Bowen and his complaint-free-world idea (https://www.willbowen.com/) It takes 21 days straight for an action to become a habit. I have used his bracelets at several churches. The idea is to wear the bracelets and go 21 days without complaining. If you complained at some point, you had to switch wrists and start over. Though there has been a lot of fun and humor in this activity, it caused people to realize how often they complain. Negativity breeds negativity, and new people will be turned off. Focus on the scripture and how to apply it to life!
- Help your class members move to positive thoughts and words. I have always been amazed by the story in Mark 5 of the woman who was bleeding for 12 years. She touched Jesus’ cloak and was healed. Jesus, however, wanted to know who did it. Why? He knew that this woman (because of the bleeding) had been an outcast from family and the synagogue for 12 years. She needed more than just physical healing! When she confessed:He said to her,“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering” (Mark 5:34 NIV). She needed to be reinstated as family. How can each member of your class bless others? How can you be family to persons in your class/group?
- Children and grandchildren need to be blessed through spoken word. Too often parents and grandparents have been too busy to offer words of acceptance, love, and grace. Many do not even have meals with their children/grandchildren. With so much focus on social media and negative words they are receiving, it is even more important to spend time daily and share a blessing. How can you as a class/small group bless the children in your own church?
We are in a time when negativity in society, government, and even church has led to polarization. Let’s move to blessing others through the spoken word!