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March 26, 2018

In the Beginning was the Word

We are studying the book of James at our church. A couple of weeks ago, our pastor taught on the third chapter of the book of James, which is all about taming the tongue. I've read these verses many times, and have listened to teachers speak about the importance of keeping our words in check on more than several occasions. This time, though, our pastor used John 1:1 to illustrate the power of our words. The verse in its entirety states, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." But our pastor asked us to stop and consider just the first part, "In the beginning was the word, " to relate it to our own words. He said something to the effect that if we trace back to the origins of conflict within relationships, healing or destruction comes from the words we say after the event that caused the conflict. Were my words full of grace, encouraging or life-giving? Or were they destructive, hurtful and careless, leading to disastrous consequences?

To me, that was profound. Trace the words back to the beginning.

Being a speech-language pathologist, words have always been extremely important to me.  My students' words impact me every day. I agonize over those first, hard-to-come-by words, meticulously planning and strategizing the best way to facilitate their emergence. I rejoice along with their parents when those precious words are spoken. I provide enticing, naturalistic contexts for new words to be learned, and then help children learn to shape those words into intelligible phrases and sentences to help them become effective communicators. I teach my students to recognize the power of their words, and have watched how their lives have changed as they grow.

But after hearing that message, I began to think about how my own words may impact my students.

I want to shower my students with words of encouragement and acceptance. I want to view them as worthy of only receiving my best words, those that are spoken with kindness and patience. I want my words to be a reflection of the knowledge I have gained over the years in this wonderful field, effective and instructive. I want them to build up, not tear down. I want my words to be intentional, never careless. My words have power, too, and I want them to be used as a force for good.

In the beginning was the word.


  1. Oh Pam! This got me right in the gut. Words are powerful - it’s not just a phrase to be repeated. It’s actually a giant truth. Thank you for sharing this. It’s a reminder that every word we choose to speak should have a positive purpose.

  2. This is a beautiful post. I agree wholeheartedly, words have power, which puts educators in a powerful position. That position must never be taken lightly nor abused! I love your graphic and would love to print it!

  3. This is so true! I think sometimes we forget just how impressionable little ones are...not just little ones, but all students. We need to watch not only our words, but our tone of voice. Lovely post!

  4. Pam, this is beautiful! I love how you applied your church's study to your personal and professional lives. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and giving me something intentional to set as a goal.

  5. Matthew 17
    [15] Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
    [16] And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
    [17] Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
    [18] And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

    Revelation 17
    [15] And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
    [16] And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.



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