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Words that change everything

Spiritual Outlook with Keith Zachary

Spiritual Outlook with Keith Zachary


There is much truth in the saying credited to Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1839), “The pen is mightier than the sword.” However, as with the sword, the pen must be wielded well if its might is to be recognized. Truly a pen in the hand of a skilled wordsmith may unveil a composition more powerful than an enemy’s arsenal. Yet a dry pen is not mighty, nor is an idle pen mighty. Only when the inkwell is full and the pen moves by the skill of one with sharpness of mind may the pen be considered mightier than the sword. Therefore Bulwer-Lytton’s saying really speaks to the power of words.
Remember the “sticks and stones” saying we repeated as children? It is blatantly false. Words have the power to hurt. Those who say words can’t hurt are either callous or overconfident in their opinions. Words have power to promote fear, prompt action, and produce a great number of emotional responses. Whether spoken or written, words may cheer us towards unity or challenge us in our efforts to remain united. Words can be a soothing balm or a sharp saber, it depends on the heart of the speaker or writer as to how words are used. The heart that constructs sentences with an agenda of inflicting pain usually accomplishes its mission, for it is people who hurt people, whether with pen or sword.
I want to encourage you to make wise use of your words. This year has started with so much divide in our country and many are carelessly wielding their pens to increase a volume of contention. Guard your heart dear friends or soon you will be hurting someone with your words and the pain may be deeply sensed for years.
Now what is mightier than the pen or sword? Words spoken in prayer. Wow! When we use our words in prayer great things will happen. Miraculous things will happen. I have this word from the pen of one who was move in heart by God to write. It is the word of John the beloved disciple recalling the powerful words of Christ: “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask what you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). Some of you are still reeling from the flood, some have lost loved ones this past year, some are going through the hardest time of your life. I recommend that you sheath your pen, stop talking about it, and open your heart to the words penned by the apostles of Christ for they have recorded the words worthy of our attention. Their penned words echo the powerful words of Christ and I promise you His words can change everything.
Keith A. Zachary is pastor of New Covenant Church, 215 Florida Ave., Denham Springs. You may contact Rev. Zachary at 225-664-0858.