June 30, 2023

The Power of Words in Relationship

How we speak to each other, give and receive correction, and work through conflict matters. In this episode, Whit and Casey explore the power of words in our relationships. They discuss speaking with integrity, having hard conversations with friends, and the hope we have because of the gospel.

Check Out the Episode:

You’ve probably heard the old adage, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” And you’ve probably come to learn that it just simply isn’t true. Proverbs has a lot to say about the power of your words: The tongue has the power of life and death . . . (Proverbs 18:21).

Are you speaking with integrity?

A lot of people’s speech doesn’t line up with what’s happening in their heart. For example, have you ever been really frustrated by someone’s actions but then denied any negative feelings when pressed on the issue? We’ve all done it: represented one thing while feeling another.

Maybe you’re unable to vocalize what you’re feeling in a moment, putting forward a false “I’m okay.” Maybe you’ve avoided sharing your true feelings for fear that nothing will change anyway. Whatever the motivation, this disintegrated way of communication is not good for you.

That’s not to say you have to express every thought that comes to mind.

You have to learn how to bring those emotions to the surface in an honoring way. When you’re going to speak to someone, make sure you’re speaking  both in grace and in truth.

Psalm 86:11 says, Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.

When you speak with integrity, you’re speaking with a united heart and mind.

You should bring your whole self not only to your relationships with others, but to your relationship with God. You can be seen and known but God in a completely integrated way.

Being honest with your words can’t happen until you know who you are.

To bring your whole self to a relationship, your identity has to be rooted outside of it.

If your identity is wrapped up in a relationship, you’ll never truly be able to function in a healthy way, because you can never fully risk the relationship.

If you’re not a whole person outside of that relationship, it puts you in a place where you can never fully love someone because you’re loving from a place of need and incompleteness. That doesn’t allow for a truly self sacrificial love. Rather, a love that says, I’m loving you because I really need you.

That’s not the picture of love we get from God. God doesn’t need us at all. He is whole and complete in Himself.  But He chose to love us fully, sacrificially, and unconditionally.

How should you give and receive correction?

Often, the Lord corrects us through His people.

Proverbs 27:6 says, Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

It’s not your place to go around correcting people you don’t know or have a  relationship with. Drive-by criticism usually doesn’t produce the fruit you want it to.

But when you have a real relationship, there can be immense value in giving and receiving correction, because you’ve proven to each other that you’re committed to the other’s greater good.

What’s worth addressing & what should you let go?

True wisdom is understanding what’s worth addressing with someone else and what you should work through on your own.

Before you confront someone with an issue, spend some time really considering what’s going on inside of you.  It isn’t necessary to confront each other about every small offense. Proverbs 19:11 says, Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

Try this Exercise 

Sometimes, things happen that you can’t seem to stop ruminating on. If this is where you’re at, Pete Scazzero’s Latter of Integrity exercise is a great tool to help discern how you’re truly feeling and what your next step should be.


Maybe you come to the conclusion that you need to address someone.

Don’t panic! Just take the first step, whatever that looks like. If you give yourself enough time, you’ll think of a million reasons why you shouldn’t.

Ask the Lord to give you the strength to send a text asking, “Hey, can we talk?” Then ask Him to give you the strength to show up in person. Then pray over the first words that come out of your mouth.

You don’t have to think about it all at once. Just ask God to help you keep putting one foot in front of the other.

You can’t do it on your own.

James 3 says no human being can tame the tongue. So, what hope do you have to be wise with your words?

That’s the bad news and the good news of the gospel. On your own, you’re hopeless. The brokenness in humanity that manifests in your words is a brokenness that you can’t ultimately heal: only Jesus can.

But the gospel is more than beliefs you adhere to; it’s the power of God in you to actually change.

Encountering Jesus for real changes you and the way you use your words.

Have you met the real Jesus?

Check out our episode on what that looks like:


Show notes:

Listen to the message on this topic: The Power of Words

Download Pete Scazzero’s Latter of Integrity 


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