Opinion: What can a word do? We can unify our country


We often diminish the value of a word. Growing up, most of us used to say, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt." I'm not so sure if that statement is true today. Words in fact can not only hurt us, but they can steer the direction of a family, a state, a nation and the world. Who would have thought that one little word like "No" could get a person in so much trouble? Telling my parents no at the wrong time sparked a national dilemma! Responding to a question like "Are you going to church today?" while in grade school in their house with a no was a terrible thing to do. Needless to say, most of us didn't try it but one time.

Words, when used positively, can yield satisfying results for most parties involved. On the other hand, when a word or words are used in an inflammatory way, explosives can be the end results.

Like anything in life, people will find a way to stimulate corruption, and the use of a word incorrectly is no different. A word's potency is proportional to who is using it. You and I can say something followed by a person of national status, and the person of status will garnish more attention.

We have seen how words can cause innocent people to meet their demise perhaps prematurely.

I say prematurely because man has a free will to make his own decisions. "In 1990, David Koresh became the leader of the Branch Davidians. He and his followers built an 'Army of God' by stockpiling weapons in preparation for the Apocalypse. On Feb. 28, 1993, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided the Davidians' compound outside of Waco, Texas, resulting in a 51-day siege that drew national attention. The standoff ended when the compound erupted in flames on April 19. Koresh, who shot himself, was among the dozens found dead" (biography.com/crime-figure/david-koresh).

I am always saddened whenever a person twists the Word of God for evil, selfish gains. The English language was formulated for communication reasons, not for evil returns.

Right now this nation is in an uproar because of the simple use of words to drive wedges between political parties, between races and between nations.

These words or sometimes a single word of division is coming from the highest office in this land, the presidency.

As a pastor, I took a divine oath to use the Word of God with the common denominator of love, even when used for correction. We should never use words loosely.

Words are powerful, in fact it was words that formed this world!

According to the Gospel, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men" John 1:1-4.

In the beginning, the Earth was void; nothing existed but the Word, which was God. Everything that we see, touch, etc. was made by the Word or was made from what the Word/God made in the beginning. This is a testament of just how powerful a word is. We find these words in the biblical wisdom book, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof" Proverbs 18:21.

We can speak death, life, division, love, correction, peace, etc. As the most intelligent being God made, we have the ability to use words in any way we want to. Why not use them to unify our country?

Sam Livingston is pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Manning.