Removing Wrong Labels

By Michael Raftery

By Michael Raftery

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” 

-Proverbs 18:21

I’ve heard this verse my entire life. I remember as a child picturing myself eating the fruit of my words. It is the difference between eating a ripe and luscious apple or a rotten and decaying one. Being a writer, words have always been very important to me. They are my commerce. They are the gift I give and the gift I receive. They are my paintbrush to offer my colors to the world. They are powerful and can be life-altering. Words are my sacred friend.

For the majority of my younger years, words were used as weapons. Fear and shame backed me into a corner and I thought my only defense was to use the blades of my words to protect me from pain. I saw the power of my words in the faces of those I’d criticize and label. I had been relentlessly bullied as a young child, so I became a bully. All of this changed in my later years as I began to see that the same way words could be used to tear down, they could also be used to elevate, empower, and heal. I made it a life’s mission to use my words to bring healing and life in places where words had previously brought destruction. Subconsciously, I knew the power of words because I’d been cut with them many times and also healed with them in other instances. Subconsciously, I knew the power of words because I’d been cut with them many times and also healed with them in other instances.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” -John 1:1

Before the earth was created and before man existed, there was God and God was the Word and the Word was God. That means that before any of the things that we

consider “real” were real, there were words. Words were spoken and the earth was created. Words were spoken and man began to exist. Words were spoken and animals were given names. The dust of everything around us in the world found its creation and form in words.

Words are powerful.

As previously stated, there was a time when my words were used as weapons to cut down and create wounds. But, Jesus redeems all things. My job and my life are now centered around healing with the truth of His word. With one word, God created light and with one word, we can also bring light to someone’s situation. We can share the love of Jesus with one word. We can spread healing lotion on festering wounds with our words. We can empower a destiny with our words. Words are living and active and we have been entrusted with their power.

People who believe wrong labels about themselves are typically the people who label others incorrectly. If you allow God to correct the wrong labels placed on you, it will also change your perspective of the world around you.


What wrong labels have been placed on you?

Lastly, I challenge you to consider whether your words are being used to build up or tear down, to destroy or create, to wound or to heal. You get to choose how you yield the amazing gift of words.


“Words are things. 

You must be careful, careful about calling people out of their names, using racial pejoratives and sexual pejoratives and all that ignorance. Don’t do that. Someday we’ll be able to measure the power of words. I think they are things. They get on the walls. They get in your wallpaper. They get in your rugs, in your upholstery, and your clothes, and finally into you.”

— Maya Angelou —

With All The Love,

Michael Raftery

Content Manager

Global Mission Awareness

P.S. I’d love to hear about your experience with words and labels. You can email me at