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The Legacy of Words

by Randy Wilson

“Our words create worlds for others.”
– Rob Bugh

Proverbs 18:21 states, “The tongue has the power of life and death...”

Our words literally create worlds for those we love. They create atmospheres, environments and a universe of value or destruction for others to live in. We live in a culture in which words are used flippantly. Language has become a tool of sarcasm and mockery, regularly used to tear down the home. The beautiful relationships of marriage and family too often lay in the rubble of cynicism for the sake of humor.

If we stop to think back on some of the deepest wounds of our lives we realize they came from words spoken in anger, words spoken in self defense, words spoken in frustration. The words we use in our home will literally be sown into the fabric of generations to come.

Sarcasm in Greek literally means, “tearing flesh.” Woe! Isn’t that exactly what sarcasm feels like? It feels like someone is shredding our souls for their own benefit.

Sarcasm never:

  • builds up
  • encourages
  • soothes a troubled heart
  • brings peace

But sarcasm can kill the spirit.

Isaiah 5:20 states it so powerfully, "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter."

The book of Proverbs has something to say about words:

Words of Life

  • A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in setting of silver. (25:11)
  • A gentle tongue can break a bone. (25:15)
  • Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel. (27:9)
  • A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction. (16:23)
  • Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. (16:24)
  • From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things. (12:14)
  • He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. (11:25)
  • The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life…but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. (15:4)
  • A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (15:1)
  • Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (12:18)

Words of Death

  • A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin. (26:28)
  • As a north wind brings rain, so a sly tongue brings angry looks. (25:23)
  • The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts. (26:22)
  • A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harborsdeceit. Though his speech is charming, do not believe him. (26:24-25)
  • It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel. (20:3)
  • Do you see a man who speaks in haste: There is more hope for a fool than for him. (29:20)
  • An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot tempered one commits many sins. (29:22)
  • The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them. (12:6)
  • The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. (15:2)

What words are you speaking in your home? What words do your children need to hear in order to feel loved, valued and completely accepted? What words do you need to cancel from your home, words that perhaps were passed down to you?

We can partner with God to speak a new language in our homes, one that will create a new world of acceptance, affirmation and affection.

Our children will live in the world we create for them. May our words glorify God and bring honor and affirmation to their hearts!

Copyright © 2007, Randy Wilson
Used by Permission.

For more information regarding intentional parenting, visit the Web site of

Focus on the Family.

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