John David Hicks, Evangelist / Bible Teacher •
Spring 2013 • Volume 16 Number 3
The Power of Blessing or Cursing
By John David Hicks
When I was a freshman in college, someone suggested at a dorm meeting that we play a prank on Joe who wasn’t there.
“Here’s what we’ll do. Through-out the day each of us says something negative to Joe. He looks sick, his skin has
bad color, he ought to go to bed….”
By the end of the day, this poor guy was actually sick and was rushed to the emergency room. When his friends
explained they had just been playing a joke, at first he didn’t believe them and then got angry. He would not
forgive his friends for being so cruel.
Jesus said, “…Men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken.
For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt. 12:36-37).
Getting a compliment or hearing how well you’ve done boosts your self-worth. Positive words affect your emotions
in a good way. You’ll feel better, live longer, and find it easier to establish trusting relationships.
When you feel bad about yourself, even casual criticism can hurt deeply. Negative words also affect your feelings
and emotions, your appetite, and your ability to experience long-term happiness and satisfaction. Your brain
releases chemicals that cause stress, worry, anger, and sleepless nights. One counselor said it takes 10 compliments
to overcome one negative remark.
In any close relationship, you will bump into each other now and then. But you can correct the harm by saying:
“I’m sorry I said that. I realize it was wrong.” “I made a mistake. I’m sorry. I’ll try not to do that anymore.
And I love you.”
Scripture says, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made
in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both
fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of
righteousness” (James 3:9-11, 18).
When you respond to a negative word with more negativity, the situation only becomes worse. “A gentle answer
turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov. 15:1). “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life” (Prov. 15:4).
At times you need to speak frankly, but always in a spirit of love. Someone may not even be aware you’ve been
hurt by what he said, so tell him.
Your words can bless or curse. They can go far beyond one person to others. Words are powerful. So how do you
turn a curse into a blessing? “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
The apostle Paul also writes, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is
good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear”
(Ephesians 4:29 NASB).
Paul gives three characteristics of good speech: (1) Wholesome or healthy words build people up. They
give life. (2) Healthy words are said at the right time. At the wrong time they can be hurtful. (3)
Healthy words give grace – the power and ability to do God’s will.
“The tongue has the power of life and death” (Prov. 18:21). Jesus said you’re to “bless and curse not.”
Every day, you are blessing or cursing someone with your words.
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened
by sin’s deceitfulness” (Hebrews 3:13).
Why not tell someone today: “I appreciate you. I’m glad you’re my friend. I see your kindness, caring,
genuineness, hospitality, musical ability, and love for God…and I like it.”
TO MY PRAYER PARTNERS
I pray with Paul, "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy
Spirit be with you" (2 Cor. 13:14). We are laborers together with God. Let me know how I can help you or
pray for you. Thank you for your prayers and support.
Your Brother in Christ,
John David Hicks
© 2013 • Faith Encounter