“God spoke the universe into existence. From the beginning, words had the power of life. . . . Satan used words to bring death where there was life and darkness where there was light. What’s interesting is that the serpent’s words weren’t true but that didn’t keep them from having power. God hardwired the power of words into the universe.”- Kyle Idleman
Kyle Idleman begins Chapter 8 (“One Word At a Time”) of One At a Time with the story of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis. During the 1840s, Dr. Semmelweis worked at two maternity clinics in Vienna, Austria. Doctors staffed one clinic. And midwives staffed the other clinic next door.
However, Dr. Semmelweis noticed that women treated at the doctors’ clinic died of childbed fever at five times greater rate than women at the midwives’ clinic. Eventually, Dr. Semmelweis figured out that the doctors immediately proceeded to deliver a baby after completing an autopsy. Hence, they never washed their hands or their instruments.
Therefore, Dr. Semmelweis told the doctors to wash their hands and their instruments with chlorine, a disinfectant. When doctors heeded his advice, it changed everything. Thus, a change that seemed insignificant proved to be a matter of life and death.
Furthermore, Pastor Idleman observes, the secret to impacting one person at a time also involves something insignificant. Words. Above all, on average we speak around sixteen thousand words a day. Perhaps, Kyle suggests, the sheer number of words we speak causes us to underestimate the impact each word can have. In fact, Kyle stresses, words create worlds.
Yet, the author states, we seem to be careless about the words we speak. Because we’re naive about their power. Jesus constantly chose His words to speak life, healing, and blessing. For example, Jesus rebuked a raging storm. He didn’t, Kyle quips, think about it and wrinkle his nose like Samantha on Bewitched.
Consequently, Kyle concludes:
“If we want to live and love like Jesus, we need to understand that words have the power of life and death and start choosing them carefully”
Today’s question: What does it mean to you that God hardwired the power of words? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Speak words of life – like Jesus”