According to linguists, abracadabra is the most universally used word that doesn’t need translation. It’s a word employed by magicians, but the etymology is more spiritual than magical. The ancient words A’bra K’dabra mean “As I speak, I shall create.” In other words, words create worlds! “Words,” said the Jewish theologian Abraham Heschel, “are themselves sacred, God’s tool for creating the universe, and our tools for bringing holiness—or evil—into the world.”
In a series of studies conducted at the University of Chicago, the recordings of thousands of counseling sessions were analyzed. Some sessions were successful, resulting in sustained change. Others were unsuccessful. The differentiating factor? It wasn’t the therapist’s technique. “The difference,” said Dr. Eugene Gendlin, “is in how [the counselees] talk.” Life is a grand game of Simon Says, and you’re Simon!
If you want to change your life, you have to change your words!
Our words don’t represent the world objectively. Rather, our words create the world subjectively! For better or for worse, our words can function as self-fulfilling prophecies. They have the power to bless or to curse, to heal or to hurt, to give life or to cause death. Scientific studies have found that negative words spoken to plants cause them to languish while positive words help them flourish. It’s as true of people as it is of plants!
“The tongue,” said Solomon, “has the power of life and death.” The Jewish sage Akila the Translator “defined the tongue as a tool having a knife at one end and a spoon at the other”—death and life. The tongue is a two-edged sword. “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father,” said James, the half brother of Jesus, “and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.” He likened the tongue to the rudder of a ship, which determines its direction. Your destiny, to a large degree, is a derivative of your words.
We have just released a 8- week study on the topic: Please, Sorry, Thanks. It does not go chapter by chapter through Mark Batterson’s book by the same title. Rather, it deals with similar themes. You can get it on Amazon. It is also available as part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking.