In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. – John 1:1-5
Yesterday I enjoyed an hour of good conversation around the idea that words carry a great deal of power. Four men, from four different churches, encouraging one another in our journey as intentional disciples of Jesus.
It’s easy to come up with examples of how words can cause problems. We see evidence of this every day; people use words to tear one-another down, destroy relationships, even lay entire institutions to waste. Tragically this is not even intentional – usually, but the result of forgetting the cardinal value of kindness; the result of gossip; of repeating “stories” without checking veracity; a careless email; a thoughtless response….
I have often remarked, sadly, that we live in an era where faith and politics tend to be defined more by what people are “against” than what they are “for.”
GOD’S PLAN IS CREATION: However, and much more apropos for disciples of Jesus, words have the power to encourage, to lift up, to build, to heal, to restore, to reconcile… to create. Because God’s plan is always creation, not destruction.
From the very beginning we are introduced to the idea of creation through the spoken word. “God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). Then Jesus – the author of new life – is introduced in John’s Gospel as “The Word.”
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14
God’s words created life itself; the Living Word offered words of life, and became the beginning of the New Creation; our words also have the power to create, and to recreate, as we speak light and life into our families, our workspaces, our faith communities, our neighborhoods…
We have this amazing power, this spectacular opportunity, to create wholeness, and unity, and peace, and reconciliation.
This is not just our opportunity, but our responsibility as followers of The Way. When we use our powerful words to create community, to encourage one another, to build up the body, then we have added the creative power of The Living Word to our own voices.
God’s plan through Jesus, entrusted to us, is the practice of love, evidenced in the way we share in the ongoing work of recreation. And it begins with the power of our words.
In love, and because of love – DEREK
This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.
If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness. – 1 John 2:7-9
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.