Proverbs 12:18, “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
As those created in the image of the one who creates reality by His word, our words also have real power to alter what is around us….especially regarding the internal world of others.
A word can be as sharp and wounding as a sword….indeed, a word can create a deeper and more painful wound than a physical weapon ever could. Or again, a word can bring healing more deep and profound than anything the medicine of the world can achieve….all this by words.
Proverbs 12 says the words of the wise bring healing……Who are the wise in the worldview of Scripture? They are those who “fear the Lord,” (Prov.9:10)—i.e., those who rightly recognize who God is and who rightly respond to that recognition. Ultimately, therefore, we fear the Lord by rightly recognizing Him in Christ crucified and raised (where He definitively reveals Himself), and by rightly responding to that recognition. In this light, the fear of the Lord is the embrace of the crucified one who lives forevermore AS the Lord….it is the recognition that THIS ONE is Lord and God and Savior. Simply put, “the wise” are those have received and recognized God in the crucified Jesus—who is the Wisdom of God (1 Cor.1:24)—and who perceive and respond to all of reality in light of Him.
Thus, the words of the truly wise are ultimately words that speak the crucified and risen Jesus into a situation. Every word of true wisdom is, in some sense, the Word of the cross…..and it is this word that brings healing. It may come in many forms (exhortation, reminder, rebuke, laughter), just as white light may be refracted into myriad colors, but the one, single, supreme word that alone brings healing—the word that is beneath all words of wisdom, the word that wounds unto death so that it might heal unto eternal life—is the Word of the cross.
May the Church of the Risen Christ speak this word that tears and heals (Hos.6:1)—the Word of the God revealed on the Cross—into the wounded world.