The first time we meet God in the Scriptures, he’s doing a curious thing – he uses his words to create. He speaks and creates something out of nothing. Theologians have a term for this. Because to be a good theologian you have to have terms for everything. They call it creatio ex nihilo…creating something out of nothing.
What’s fascinating is not just that God creates something out of nothing, but the way he chooses to do that. He speaks creation into existence.
Words can be powerful.
A friend of mine taught me that when you lead a group of people, you don’t chide them, telling them what you want them to be. You speak as if they are already that thing, and what will happen is that over time they will grow into becoming what you have said they already are.
Today, I was sharing with some people something that I believe and want to live out. I was sharing with them the tension and struggle of believing it to be true, but how hard it is to actually live it, which seems to be true of just about anything that is good and worth pursuing. What I told them was I’m going to keep talking as if I’m there – not as a disingenuous facade – but instead to speak it into existence in my life.
It’s not a power of positive thinking sort of thing. It’s not “The Secret”, or some other kind of self-help voodoo. It’s the way the creator of the universe brought the universe into existence. He spoke what wasn’t there into being there.
Too often, whether it’s when we lead a group, or if it’s with our family, or in the self-image that we have of ourselves, what we do is focus on what we’re not or on how to motivate or push us to be what we want to be. We try to use our words to force something to happen, instead of speaking as if it’s already true. You speak it into existence by speaking as if that thing is already true and then allowing it to grow into becoming true.
Maybe you can’t create something out of nothing. But your words can still create.