“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That old saying must be one of the biggest lies ever, right?
We all know that words have the potential to hurt us --- not physically, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Words have the ability to lighten our mood, make us smile or burst into tears, or even cause resentment and bitterness to seep into our hearts. As Proverbs 18:21 tells us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (KJV) As the Bible also reveals, it is virtually impossible to tame the tongue. This is proven by the fact that, even though sermons about the effect of our words are presented from pulpits all over the world, we still continue to gossip, complain, criticize, and lash out at others. But what is impossible to do on our own is possible with God. Not easy, but possible.
"If you’re willing to get your toes stepped on a bit, and you have an open heart, ready to change how you think and speak, then this book truly does have the potential to change your life."
Joyce Meyer understands the power of words. She admits that she alienated and hurt many people over the course of her life. Because of the abuse she endured as a child, she had plenty of reasons for her negative attitudes, critical spirit and harsh demeanor. But she eventually realized that this behavior wasn’t producing positive results. More specifically, as stated on page 12 of her book, she learned that, “If a person continually sows negative thoughts, attitudes, and words, he will produce negative results in his life. Likewise, if he sows positive, life-filled thoughts, attitudes, and words, he will see good, positive results.” When she began to study God’s Word on the subject and applied the truths she found there, she gained major victory in this area. Meyer shares her wisdom in her latest book, CHANGE YOUR WORDS, CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
In her usual straightforward style, Meyer teaches us how to tame our tongues, how to stay strong through the storms of life, how to speak faith, not fear, and when to listen and when to speak. She includes chapters on complaining, speaking words of encouragement, keeping our word, words that grieve the Holy Spirit, how to speak gentle words, fasting our words, how to defeat our enemies, and learning to say what God says. In fact, speaking according to God’s Word is the main point driven home throughout this book. As Meyer tells us in Chapter 3, “We cannot say what God says unless we know what He has said, and that is why we must study the Word of God diligently.”
At the end of the book, there are over 20 pages dedicated to providing “A Dictionary of God’s Word,” listing specific Bible verses to recite and meditate on when facing difficult life situations. You’ll find verses for times when you feel that you don’t have the strength to go on. When you’re angry and bitter. When you need confidence. When you’re discouraged or depressed. When you’re afraid. When you need healing. When you’re lonely. When you need financial help. Peace. Forgiveness. Justice. Wisdom. And many more. This is a wonderful tool, giving us positive words to speak and/or pray when we’re tempted to complain or simply talk about our problems.
Because words are such an important part of our everyday lives, and because they have such an impact on our relationships and our own mental health, CHANGE YOUR WORDS, CHANGE YOUR LIFE is a must-read. With the multitude of scriptures, real-life examples, and Meyer’s personal testimony, this is a book to keep on your nightstand and refer to time and time again. As quoted in the book, “All change begins by facing truth and not making any excuses for wrong behavior.” If you’re willing to get your toes stepped on a bit, and you have an open heart, ready to change how you think and speak, then this book truly does have the potential to change your life.
Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab on October 18, 2012