Curses and Blessings

October 24th, 2012

Earlier this week, I wrote about the increasing popularity of witchcraft and how the desire for power is a reason some people begin experimenting with witchcraft and the occult. But no discussion of power, spirituality, good, and evil is complete without addressing the role words play in the spiritual dimension.

When I was working in youth ministry, I reminded everyone on a regular basis how powerful our words are, especially when spoken. This isn’t just superstition—even secular counselors and positive thinking gurus have figured this out on the natural level. Words can affect attitudes and mindsets. They can evoke either hope or fear, encouragement or discouragement.

But words also affect things in the spiritual realm, which influences the physical one. This is nothing new to most Christians. We know that the invisible affects the visible. We’re told in the Bible that faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see (Hebrews 11:1 CEB). And 2 Corinthians 5:7 makes it clear that a Christian lives by faith, not sight. We know there’s a whole world of activity beyond what we can detect with our five senses. How much that world impacts this one is a topic for debate, but I suspect it’s more than most of us realize.

So why are words so powerful? I think it may have something to do with the fact that human beings are made in the image of God, who created everything that exists using spoken words. When you truly begin to understand how important your words are, I believe several things will happen:

  • Your everyday speech will become much more positive in general.
  • Things like prayers, blessings, responsive readings, and other spoken worship elements will take on a much deeper meaning for you.
  • You’ll notice that negative people really begin to drive you crazy.

Many people involved in witchcraft and the occult sadly understand the power of words more than the average western Christian. Words and rituals are also a significant part of New Age and eastern religions, while mainstream western Christianity has downplayed the connection between the words we say and the spiritual realm. Although most Christians believe in prayer, the idea of any kind of supernatural power in things like blessings, curses, and proclamations seems antiquated to the contemporary rational mind.

The parallels between certain elements of Christianity and of other belief systems can be rather fascinating. Consider, for example, the concept of blessings and curses. A curse is defined as a solemn utterance to invoke a supernatural power to inflict harm or punishment on someone or something. In a less formal sense, it can be considered to be an expression of a wish that misfortune, evil, or doom befall a person, place, group of people, or thing. We think of curses as formal spells or incantations spoken by witches, Satanists, or others involved in evil on some level. But Christians have the power to curse too, and unfortunately, many of us use that power for evil rather than for good. Often when we cut others down, offer insults, predict negative outcomes, or repeat discouraging remarks, we’re actually cursing. When we say things like, “You’ll never amount to anything,” or “You’re going to turn out just like your mom/dad,” we’re cursing others. When we say negative things about ourselves, that’s cursing too. Imprecatory prayers are another form of cursing, and should never be taken lightly. Whether formal or informal, the Bible considers curses to be a serious matter. Many believe that curses can produce negative consequences and impact families, groups of people, nations, and places for generations.

But there are times when cursing may be a positive thing, for example when we curse things like poverty, sickness, injustice, or war. We honestly don’t know in every situation exactly how our words will affect the course of events. So when it comes to negative speech, being careful about what we say is always a good idea.

The flip side of the power to curse is the power to bless. The Old Testament patriarchs understood the power of blessing. For example, Esau cried like a baby because his brother Jacob deceitfully took Esau’s blessing from their father Isaac. When we bless someone, we invoke divine favor upon them. We can bless people with grace, peace, healing, freedom and other good things we want them to experience in the name of Christ. Charles Kraft says there are about 300 references to blessing in scripture, and he believes there would be many more examples if blessing hadn’t been so universally practiced by those with a Jewish worldview.

Christians have the authority to bless others whenever we want. We also have the amazing privilege of speaking the word of God into people’s lives. I don’t understand exactly how God works to empower our words in the spiritual realm, but I do know that our words carry a lot of weight there. We should take care that the words we speak are constructive to the kingdom of God and destructive to the kingdom of darkness, not the other way around.

Supernatural October Series: For the rest of the month, I’ll be blogging about topics like ghosts, demons, exorcism, spiritual warfare, death, hell, witchcraft, Satanism, the occult, psychics, vampires, and Halloween. If you have any ideas or experiences you’d like to share, send a message to

Read additional posts from this series.

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