Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – March 20, 2016
Theme: Wisdom for Living
Topic: Power in our Words
Main Texts: Proverbs 10:11-21; 18:4-7; James 3:1-12
Key Verse: Proverbs 18:21 –“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (NIV)
In the Biblical Old Testament times, people recognised the spoken word and were careful to only speak what they meant. They saw the spoken word as a dropped egg which once broken cannot be put together again. A father’s words shaped the future of his children. When people made a promise that could hurt them, they stood by it. This reverence for the spoken word continued in the New Testament and the early disciples acknowledged the power in our words; we see this in the passage we read in the epistle of James.
1. Are Christians as conscious today about the power of the spoken word as the early Bible days? Illustrate with examples. One area where Christians of the Pentecostal leaning tend to emphasise the power of the spoken word is in seeking and receiving miracles. The anchor for this emphasis is in the words of Jesus Christ as regards the tree he had cursed which eventually dried up: “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.” (Mark 11:23 NIV). We are taught to claim our miracle and confess to receiving them even before they manifest.
2. Give examples of words we speak, apart from when we are expecting a miracle from God, that shape either our future of the future of someone else. A root cause analysis of relationship problems would show that most can be traced to an inappropriate or misunderstood spoken word. King Solomon has a lot to say about the consequence of our words: “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Prov 12:18). “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. (Prov 16:24). “The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.” (Prov 17:27). The careers of notable politicians have been wrecked by saying a few inappropriate words.
3. Give practical steps a Christian could take, or habits to cultivate, to avoid speaking reckless words that could have far greater negative consequences than we envisage. (See Ecclesiastes 5:2, James 1:19) God desires that we speak words that build others up. Children who hear positive words about themselves tend to achieve better in life. This is not just about avoiding words that hurt, but real positive words that bring out the best in people: “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Pro 12:18 NIV). “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Prov 16:24 NIV).
4. Give examples of opportunities we often have, but not always appropriated, to speak words that build up another person.
Father, help me be more conscious of opportunities to show grace in my words, that I may build up other people, in Jesus’ name. Amen.