The Bible speaks often about the power of words; both for good and for evil. God spoke creation into existence, and His words have ultimate power and authority. Since we are created in His image, it makes sense that our words also carry power. They are clearly not on the same level as God’s, but they are powerful nonetheless.
Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Proverbs 12:18 (NIV) says, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Our words can bring healing or hurt, life or death, blessing or cursing.
Words that Curse
The book of James says that the tongue is “an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). It goes on to say this: “With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:9-10).
Just like we can speak in such a way to bless and build others up, we can also speak curses over people’s lives. James is not talking about profanity here. Rather, he is saying that our words can literally curse people.
I define a curse as a supernatural force to bring harm and destruction to a person’s life. Curses may manifest in various ways, but be sure that this is not some superstition or primitive belief. The Bible speaks often about blessings and curses; they are both realities in the world.
The Effect of a Word Curse
A “word curse” is the opposite of a spoken blessing. It is speaking words over people’s lives that bring harm and take the effect of a curse. Having been involved in deliverance ministry over the past several years, I have prayed over people to break these types of curses. I have seen firsthand how detrimental they can be.
Word curses have the most power when they come from those in authority: parents, teachers, coaches, and even pastors. Those who speak them are usually not intentionally putting a curse on people; they just don’t realize the power that their words have.
Here are some examples of word curses from a parent to a child:
“You are such a failure. You can’t do anything right.”
“You are so stupid. You are never going to amount to anything in life.”
“Nobody would ever want to marry you.”
When words such as these are authoritatively declared over a child, the parent is literally cursing that child. The curse does not automatically take effect, but when a child believes and receives these words, they become lodged in them, becoming a barrier over their life. It is not uncommon for evil spirits to be attached to these words, reinforcing the lies that have been spoken.
We must be so careful about the words we speak and the words that we receive! In my next article, I will outline how to break free from the effects of word curses.
Have you ever felt the negative effects of a word curse in your life?