Emotional potency of words

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1 ESV)

blessings or cursing showing a man with his hands on his mouth

Words are powerful. It is now common knowledge to us today as Christians that the Lord spoke words and created everything in heaven and earth. We often do not take the time to reflect on the full importance of this simple truth. God spoke and things happened. And since we have been created in God’s image, we have the ability to use words to commune and interact.

Power is simply the ability to bring about changes, and it has myriad forms of manifestation. Words have inherent physical, psychological and spiritual power. Proverbs 15:1 above is an illustration of the psychological power of words. They have the ability to cause changes in someone’s psychological make-up, affecting their thoughts, emotions, desires, motivations, etc.

Solomon says above that a soft answer turns away someone’s anger or wrath but a hard word will stir up anger. That is, the way you speak to someone can either pacify or ignite their anger. I am close to certain all of us have spoken words that produced results in people and we wished we had not spoken those words. Sadly, once spoken, words can never be taken back. The words you use to speak to people and the way you say it to them matters. Those words have emotional power, and can create all sorts of emotions or thoughts in people. There is power in your mouth. Solomon cautions us to have control over the words we speak.


I want you to think of one or more experiences where you spoke to someone and the person who heard you became very angry. Put that situation in the context of Prov. 15:1 and the devotional above.


A recurrent theme in the entire book of Proverbs is the warning against  indiscrete or uncontrolled talking. Your mouth can either get you in trouble or save you from problems. Use your mouth wisely.


Ask the Spirit to help you control your mouth and the words you speak to people. 

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