“But a Pharisee named Gamaliel . . . said to them, . . .” Acts 5:34, 35
You are powerful. Whether you realize it or not. The power you possess is more powerful than political power, it’s greater than financial power. It’s more influential than social power. It’s the power of your words.
Words are mighty things. Formed by the mouth, pushed out through a breath. Once words are spoken, they are no longer the property of the one who spoke them. Words count because words are weapons. Words can condemn, or cause life. Words can cancel hope, or create a dream. Our words have both substance and strength. Words have a way of living on for generations, bearing fruit in each by the events they produce.
Some words have no weight at all. They pass away and are lost among the dead sounds of which the airwaves are full. However, some words wound. It doesn’t matter the motives that created what was spoken, or how we perceived them when we said them. Words can hurt. They hit harder than a fist, and the bruises can last a whole lot longer. And, we are responsible for what we say.
Gamaliel appears twice in the New Testament. Both times have to do with words he had spoken to others. First, Paul was meticulously trained by Gamaliel. His influence is felt through all the Epistles. Paul speaks with candor, honesty, and a willingness to study and a keen eye for the nuances of the law. Secondly, when the apostles were arrested for preaching Christ in Jerusalem. They were brought to trial before the Sanhedrin. Gamaliel sought to delay judgment speaking words of toleration and patience.
His words revealed, and the lives of the apostles were spared. We will never know the extent to which his words had on the future and spread of Christianity. We do know, however, that the outcome of this story was due to the words of Gamaliel.
The season here is hard to miss. Your words count. They can give life, or they can take it away. Our words can inflict, injure or inspire. The choice is ours.
Today practice being aware of the kind of words you are speaking towards others. Do they hurt or heal?