My last blog was named Wield The Word, and my tagline for this website says, “Learning to Wield the Word for God’s Glory”. I use the hashtag #wieldtheword in a lot of my social media posts, and “wield the Word” is a phrase I use a lot in speaking and in writing. But what does it actually mean?
The dictionary defines “wield” in two ways:
- Hold and use (a weapon or tool)
- Have and be able to use (power or influence)
For me, “wield the Word” has a double meaning. I want to:
- Use God’s Word effectively—and as it was intended—in all of life, and
- Use my own written words effectively for God’s glory.
These are tall orders, and I know the learning process will never end.
The Power of the Word
Whenever my father-in-law points at something, you’re likely to hear a snicker or two from the family as we make light of his goofy-looking index finger. It got caught in an electric saw many years ago, and while a capable surgeon did his best, the finger is still crooked and shorter than the rest of his fingers. We’re thankful his finger is the only thing that got caught in the saw. It could’ve been so much worse.
So, our family is big on power tool safety. If you’re going to use a power tool, it’s important to understand how it works. You should know what you’re dealing with before you turn it on or pick it up. Failing to do so could be disastrous—even deadly. You must not become careless or too comfortable, but always stay alert. Even if you’re highly skilled and well-practiced, the danger is still there.
In the same way, words are powerful. They can be a useful tool or a destructive weapon. The Bible suggests our words hold the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). So we must learn to wield them well.
The Risks of Wielding the Word
Using words is risky business. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” Rubbish! Words can hurt. They can damage relationships, cause deep wounds, deceive people, and dictate circumstances.
Even God’s Word can be dangerous! Some people use Scripture like a battering ram, “hitting people over the head” with it to make a point. But I don’t think that’s what God had in mind when He referred to His Word as the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17, Hebrews 4:12).
That said, as Christians, we are in a spiritual battle with the enemy of our souls, and the Bible—the sword of the Spirit—is the only offensive weapon in the armor God gave us. So I want to learn how to wield it well. I want to use it as God intended—for victory over Satan, not for tearing down my comrades or other people I interact with.
The Rewards of Wielding the Word
God gave us His Word and He gave us language for our good and His glory. He chose the written Word as a means of communicating His story, His character, and His will to us. And He’s enabled us to create words, to tell stories, to write.
The Bible tells us that God’s Word:
- Encourages us, instructs us, and gives us hope (Romans 15:4)
- Shows us the way we should go and shines light in the darkness (Psalm 119:105)
- Keeps us from sin (Psalm 119:11)
- Restores and revives the soul (Psalm 19:7)
- Gives wisdom (Psalm 19:7; 2 Peter 3:15)
- Warns us (Psalm 19:11)
- Has the power to heal (Proverbs 4:22)
- Can save our souls (James 1:21)
Our words can do these things too. As we learn to wield God’s Word well and to wield the written word for His glory, our words can encourage, instruct, and give hope to the reader. Skillful writing can shed light in the darkness, caution others against sin and danger, or bring healing and restoration.
How to Wield the Word Well—For God’s Glory
God’s Word is powerful. But just as a power tool is powerless unless you turn it on, God’s Word won’t accomplish much in your life if you don’t read it and learn to use it. We’re called to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only (James 1:22).” God’s intention in giving us His Word was that we would do something with it and that it would change us.
The apostle Paul exhorted Timothy to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15, ESV).” If there’s a right way to handle God’s Word, there’s also a wrong way. So wielding the Word well is another way of saying “rightly handling the Word”.
This is something that’s learned. It takes work. Some translations of 2 Timothy 2:15 say, “be diligent”, “study”, or “make every effort”. I’m always learning, growing, practicing, and improving in my study and understanding of the Bible and how it applies to my life and writing.
Our hearts are like spiritual ink wells—they’re the source of our words. When our hearts are saturated with God’s Word, our own words naturally reflect His truth. Learning to wield the Word for God’s glory is learning to study the Bible, interpret it correctly, and then apply it properly so our lives (and our own words) are an accurate reflection of God to the world around us.
I write because God’s Word has powerfully transformed every aspect of my life, and I know it can do the same for you.