Some people say very little for various reasons. For Ryan, he said little because his words carried power. His father prayed around the family table; one phrase ever present; “Father, make each of my words count.” Ryan found himself praying the same words when alone. Years on, he didn’t realise that his words had shaped history pertaining to those around him. As far as he knew, he had lived an average life for a Christian teenager until he read Matthew 12:36. It stated that everyone had to answer for every careless word they ever spoke.
He began to take stock of his life. It hadn’t turned out well enough, but his successes far outweighed the failures of those he knew. Had he spoken careless words? The passage referred to insensitivity; definitely not political correctness, just words that wounded others unnecessarily. But for him, he knew it carried an even deeper meaning.
His thoughts went back to every indignity placed on him by other people. In anger he lashed out, saying words he regretted, some wishing some unfortunate calamity. In every instance his words came to pass, just rarely immediately, and even then, he almost never saw what befell his “victims.”
His English teacher tripped and knocked himself unconscious against a cabinet. Prior to that, Ryan spoke vehement words of harm under his breath. Boys who ostracised him, turned and fought each other; he promised they would. When he first asked a girl out at high school, she and her friends laughed at him. Trying to be noble, he said that “he hoped she ended up with someone she deserved.” At the time, he said the words in a genuine tone; even tried to mean them. His underlying heart ached, turning putrid, exuding bitterness. Twenty years later, he discovered in passing on the net, that she had married the coolest boy in school. Their marriage had been a tapestry of abuse and infidelity, affecting their offspring.
For awhile, he became despondent; unable to tell anyone of the power he possessed. Who could understand such a thing? He became tacit, fearing that anything he spoke might come to pass.
But why didn’t it affect his life? He married well and reared well adjusted children, but then… he spoke positively about them. His wife too; didn’t he always make positive inroads toward her to win her over?
One night, while reading his Bible alone, he learned of the balance. Ephesians 4:29 said that “one should speak encouraging words to other people.” God had given him a gift. Like someone given a knife, it could be a weapon or a tool, depending on how one employed its razor edge. He endeavoured to say things to make people feel more positive about themselves. His efforts only met with spasmodic success. It seemed key words alone had an affect, and only when God willed. He prayed long and hard for the Lord to reveal to him how he could speak positive words continually in a manner people would accept as genuine. God revealed a way; in song.
He sang for his church, offering words of love, acceptance, forgiveness; things that all people need. Inwardly he smiled as his church at its visitors stood solemnly, listening to the praises of God… this, was true power.