by Rev. J. Loren Russell, BS, MDiv

There isn’t much you can do about thoughts that run through your mind. Our thoughts are spontaneous and often times random. While we cannot control our thoughts, we can saturate our minds with positive, inspirational, motivating words; phrases and experiences that can counteract the negative thoughts that shows up at the most inopportune moments. Many wise parents, loving grandparents and insightful mentors told us long ago, “Just because it came to your mind does not mean it has to come out of your mouth.” When they come out of our mouths, they take on a life of their own.


Words are powerful! They can create worlds, build character, and mobilize movements.  They can also be extremely destructive, destroying dreams and crushing potential.  In the Bible, we are told that life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). The tongue is a powerful muscle that has changed the course of history, sometimes for good, and other times for bad. In the book of James, which some call the Proverbs of the New Testament, he writes, “No one can tame the tongue, though. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we both bless the Lord and Father and curse human beings made in God’s likeness. Blessing and cursing come from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, it just shouldn’t be this way!” (James 3:8-10 CEB).


If it shouldn’t be this way, then it stands to reason, we can change it! We have to strive to use our words as a source of encouragement; encouragement to ourselves.., and encouragement to others. If you use your words to build people up, to create possibilities where none previously existed, to make the world a better place, and to make yourself the best person you can be, you become a positive force for good.  It all depends on the words that live in your heart and those that come out of your mouths! Words can tie down or they can build up.


This journey called life has some awesome highs and depressive lows. But life is what you make it. And believe it or not, most, if not all, of your joy and your pain will be determined by the words of your mouth. Remember, life and death are in the power of the tongue.


While you can’t control the words of other people, you can decide how you internalize them. Out of their mouths might come poison and hate, but out of your mouth should come blessings and praise. Don’t ever fall into the trap of letting others pull you down to their level. If they talk down, you speak up.  If they curse and talk about people, you smile and praise those same people. Overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).


If someone tells you that you are stupid, you tell yourself, “I’m brilliant!” If someone tells you that you’ll never amount to anything, tell yourself, “God don’t make no junk, and I was made in His image!” Build your character by speaking empowering words. Make a commitment to yourself now and the end result will make for a successful life!


One poet put it this way:

A careless word may kindle strife,                                                      

A cruel word may wreck a life,                                                           

A bitter word may hate instill,                                                              

A brutal word may smite and kill.                                                       

A gracious word may smooth the way,                                               

A joyous word may light the day,                                                         

A timely word may lessen stress,                                                         

A loving word may heal and bless.


Speak EMPOWERING WORDS into your life!


Be Blessed!


Rev. J. Loren Russell, BS, MDiv is an associate minister at both Goodwill Baptist and Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx.

The views and opinions expressed on this web site are solely those of the authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of The Bronx Chronicle, its staff, and/or contributors to our news site.


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