It’s hard to imagine New York Times bestselling author and world-renowned Bible teacher Joyce Meyer struggling with her words. Through her books, audio teachings, radio and TV programs, and conferences, Meyer presents practical biblical truth to multitudes of people each year. Yet in her latest book, Change Your Words, Change Your Life: Understanding the Power of Every Word You Speak, she admits that at one point in her life, her mouth was the source of much trouble.
Raised in a home with a negative atmosphere, and unguarded in how she spoke, Meyer candidly shares that she wasted many years as an immature Christian. She describes herself as being self-centered, selfish and judgmental. Only through prayer and dedicated study of God’s Word did she reach a point where she says her life changed. Her purpose in writing this book is to “convey the importance of words’ power to you.”
The volume is divided into two parts, covering theological and practical aspects of taming the tongue. Throughout, Meyer shares pieces of her personal struggle, including an extensive “confession list” she originally created in 1976 of biblical truths that she declared daily.
In the book’s first half, Meyer discusses the impact of words, the importance of Scripture in the transformation process, and being mindful of what the words one speaks says about him or her. Then, having provided a biblical basis for changing one’s words, Meyer uses the latter half of the book to point out specific things that are good to say, and other words one should shy away from.
I appreciated the straightforward, no-nonsense manner in which the book was written—typical Meyer style. The wealth of Scripture she provides is beneficial and shows that this is a topic she has studied personally to great depth. She even provides a “Dictionary of God’s Word” as an appendix to the book, offering scriptural passages for certain situations that often occur in daily life.
While I believe this is an important topic for all Christians to study, those in ministry leadership especially can benefit from this book. As Meyer puts it, “Anyone who wants to be used by God in any kind of ministry will need to learn how to discipline the words she speaks.”
It is only when we recognize how powerful our words are that we can then begin to see our lives, and the lives of those we minister to, transformed.
Reviewed by: Melissa Brotherton, community life and children’s pastor at Grace Church (Federal Way North Foursquare Church) in Federal Way, Wash.