My Words Matter

Nehemiah 2:17-18 (NKJV)

Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.” And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to this good work.

It is interesting how much of an impact our words can have on another person, and how with only a few negative words we can hurt one another. In the book of Nehemiah, we read this story about how Jerusalem's walls have fallen. When Nehemiah heard this news, he sat down and cried. Nehemiah was so upset, he fasted for days! Something we don’t think about very often is the aftermath of our words. Hanani probably didn’t know the impact his words would have on Nehemiah. He was only delivering a message. Luckily, Nehemiah didn’t fight his battles alone, so he decided to go to God in prayer while he fasted.

After King Artaxerxes granted Nehemiah permission to go and rebuild the walls, he still had one more thing to do. After he had gone out at night to the walls of Jerusalem, he told the Jews, the priest, the nobles, and the officials what God had put in his heart. After Nehemiah explains the condition of the walls, he declares that they should rebuild them. Feeling encouraged, they decide to set their hands for good work, regardless of all the bullying they encountered. And instead of giving up when they were being despised, they prayed to God.

It’s amazing to see God working through Nehemiah’s pain. Sometimes when we’re beaten down by rude words, we just want to give up. But even when we’re weak, God is fulfilling His plan for our lives. Not only that, but Nehemiah and the people kept looking to God when things were tough and out of their control. We should choose to be like Nehemiah and commit ourselves to look to God when things are tough. We should use words of encouragement that move others to work harder for God. Instead of breaking God’s people down with our words, let’s help each other rise up and build.