Are words the most powerful weapon or healing tool that we have?


There is a rhyme that says;

Sticks and stones

May break my bones

But words cannot hurt me.


By David Cantelli

This is obviously not true. Words are very powerful and whole nations can stand or fall with them.  Trump is a prime example that could have led to a civil war in the USA in the middle of a plague.  I can also say that we have all said things we ought never to have said.  So today we are looking at Bavincks teaching from his ethics in relation to the abuse of words.  (Pages 128-129 Reformed Ethics)

So, Bavinck says, “The root of these sins is the vanity or futility of the mind (Eph4:17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, Ephesians 4:17),  the result of being cut loose from life, from the Word, from God’s Logos”

These empty words, sins, go against the Trinity, Against the Son of God, the Logos. The Logos is found within Johns Gospel “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and the Word became a human being and lived among us”.  In the Eternal Trinity, The Logos was there at the creation of the world.  When we talk about the Logos we talk about the God-Man Jesus Christ. The Logos who is The Lord who saves his people and is the Messiah the anointed King as God the Father’s representative on earth.  The kings of Israel held the title of Messiah, but they only pointed to the true Messiah, The Lord Jesus Christ.  So then in Christianity the very meaning of Word relates to Jesus Christ.  So then when we read Bavincks words, we ought to take stock of this.


On page 128 Bavinck gives us a list of scriptures.


4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. Ephesians 5:4


6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Ephesians 5:6

1 Tim.5:13

13 At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. 1 Timothy 5:13

1 Tim.6:20

20 O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— 1 Timothy 6:20


10 For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, Titus 1:10

3 John.1:10

10 For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church. 3 John 1:10


36 But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. Matthew 12:36

So from the above list Bavinck gives us a list of negative things about talking;

·        Futility of the mind

·        Foolish talk and crude joking

·        Empty words

·        Gossips and bust bodies

·        Irreverent babble

·        Empty talkers

·        Talking wicked nonsense

·        On the day of judgement people will give an account for every careless word

The above list then is what we should certainly not do but in contrast to this we ought to as Bavinck quotes col.4:6;

6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:6

Scriptures standards for speech and talking then are very high. 

“Such spewing of idle words comes to expression in daily interaction, in polite phrases with which we misuse language and empty words of their content. Talleyrand is correct when he says, “language is created to conceal thoughts.” Such phraseology leads to excessive talking, to self-deception and to the deception of others. The word continues to have great power over people and betrays them by leading them astray into error and heresy. All great events have been called into being by a word (such as *revolution «freedom,” etc.). This happens in learning and science as well. People seek and love scholarship for themselves (egoism) instead of for God. Using vain words, ideas without content, or words in which one has placed faulty content gives rise to knowledge that is *demonic” (James 3:15), or to an earthly wisdom” (2 Cor. 1:12), *to falsely called ‘knowledge” (1 Tim” 6:20), or the *wisdom of this world” (1 Cor. 3:19). These result in a philosophy and a vain temptation that lead people astray with every *wind of doctrine” (Eph. 4:14). Scholarship is no longer valued as a path to the truth because that is considered unattainable and is therefore reduced to desire, thirst, mere exercise. The same is true in art, the symbolized word.  Art is reduced to form; it is no longer used to express the truth, to express the eternal, to express who we are. Its ideals and inspirations do not come’ from above, but from below. Only the figure, the form, and then, of course the physical, the naked form, captivates—a coarse realism… (Reformed Ethics  by Herman Bavinck page 129)”

There isn’t much I can add but Bavinck reminds us of the power of words.  Words can change governments.  Words can kill.

I just want to add that words also have the power to heal.  If we walk in Christian love and build each other in the faith and live the way the Lord Jesus asks us then with these small conversations perhaps our groups of friends and families will start to feel Gods healing and even be brought to a place of eternal redemption.


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