Twelve Words To Transform Your Life

Expositor Warren Wiersbe ended his discussion of the tongue and the words we speak (James 3:1-12) by giving twelve words which will transform your life. While you could add several words to the list, you can’t argue with his twelve words.

You also can’t argue with the power of these words to change you and to change those around you.

Here are his twelve words:

1-3. Please and thank you. Often in a wedding ceremony, I will address the bride and groom personally and remind them that they grew up with “magic words.” Those magic words were “please and thank you.” Then, I say these are still magic words. They may even be more magical in your marriage than in your family of origin.

4-5. I’m sorry. Admitting wrong and asking for forgiveness has tremendous power to transform people. This is especially the case in a marriage. Asking forgiveness takes the edge off wrongs and hurts. The sincere admission that you’ve wronged your spouse opens the door to tenderness and forgiveness.

When “I’m sorry” is followed by “I forgive you,” these words are especially transformative. When two people are big enough to say “I’m sorry” and “I forgive,” you have the potential for a deep and growing relationship which will become sweeter and more loving with age.

The church needs to hear more of “I’m sorry” and “I forgive.”

6-8. I love you. Any words spoken harshly or sarcastically mean nothing, but “I love you” spoken from the heart and from the will has the power to change lives.

I’ve often said about churches: “You can’t keep people away from a place where they are loved.” It works the same way in marriages, families, and relationships of all kinds.

Tell the people closest to you that you love them and then back your words with actions. It will make a huge difference in you and in others.

9-12. I’m praying for you. I fear Christians too often promise prayer and don’t deliver. When we promise and follow through, prayer transforms.

I am blessed to have many people praying for me daily. Last night a new member of our church told me that Saturday and Sundays were my days. She meant she prayed for me as I preached on the weekend. These words are beautiful words to me. They are beautiful words to others as well.

When people call my name before the Father, I receive strength and encouragement. When others pray, I know they “have my back.”

Wiersbe said: when we talk to God about people, then we have the right to talk to people about God.

If you would like to receive daily devotional thoughts from me, please sign up for an email notification at waylonbailey.com at the top of the page. It’s easy to do and completely free.

11 Comments


  1. Bethellen
    Jan 29, 2013

    Beautiful words; thanks for sharing. And BTW we lift you in prayer daily. AND, we love you.


  2. Brenda Collins
    Jan 29, 2013

    Beautiful! Yes, absolutely beautiful! I am looking for a button on the website here to ‘forward to a friend’ -I have encouraged a few people to subscribe to the daily blog. However, at a time like this, I would like to simply ‘forward to a friend’ then leave it up to that person to read, be encouraged, then subscribe as the Holy Spirt leads them to do. Please talk to your webmaster or web designer or whateve that person is called, it would be a wonderful addition to the website. While nothing could possibly be added to these beautiful and encouraging words, that forward button would be most appreciated! Thanks again for all you do! : )


  3. Robert
    Jan 29, 2013

    Brenda, if you click on the envelope icon you can email this post to anyone you wish


    • Brenda Collins
      Jan 29, 2013

      Okay, somebody help me! I had a feeling it might be right in front of me, but, you know what? I STILL don’t see it!! Can you . . . . . tell me EXACTLY where the little envelope icon is located? I HATE computers, a necessary evil, I believe you that it is here, probly right in front of me, I don’t see it!!! BTW, i am not on facebook if that is what you are talking about. Thanks so much for any assistance, brenda


      • Waylon
        Jan 29, 2013

        Brenda and to all,
        Use the “print”button at the beginning of the post to email to others and to print the posts. Both are very simple to use. I am pleased to find a functional system for printing and emails. Many blogs seem laborious to forward. Some require so much info that I give up.
        Thanks for being willing to forward and encourage your friends to subscribe.
        You are my only marketing! Thanks for your help.


        • Brenda Collins
          Jan 30, 2013

          That’ll work! Thanks, brenda


  4. Ed Matthew
    Jan 29, 2013

    Thank you so much!
    All of these 12 great words have background in a context. It is stated in Ezekiel 33 that God knows the heart, that restitution is needed to restore/prove relationship. Repentance is accompanied by Works Meet for Repentance. Acts 26:20 It is an action that is required by God to restore relationship in Christ Jesus and it is an action required on the so much smaller playing field of personal relationships (The Greatest Commandment and the second is like unto it). To hear the unrepentant words of someone who has said, “Don’t even pray for me!” is not healthy for the Body/Bride, as they seem to ‘glow’ to those around them. The word “slake” comes to mind and Psalms 1.

    The overarching teaching of your words may be that we are created to be in relationship with the Father of Lights (James 1:17) and we are to seek out ‘His Light’ in one another (Romans 12:5). This is done so that we not fall into the trap of “missing the mark.” James 2: 18-20 “Yes, a man says, You have faith and I have works: show me your faith without your works and I will show you my faith by my works. So you say you believe there is one God; you do well: devils/demons also believe, and tremble/shutter. And don’t you know, O vain man, that faith without (apart from) works is dead?” As Bill Boren taught this morning: “Sin is a process.”

    Therefore we are to stop the wrong or unclear direction of another, immediately if possible; encourage each other, lift each other, enable each other to “Prove what is that Good, and Acceptable, and Perfect, Will of God.” It is in this context that we apply James 5:16 within the Body of Believers, Church, His Bride; as we consider the back drop of 1 Corinthians 13 with an emphasis on verse 13 with a desire for each to have their number one relationship with God the Father in Christ Jesus while defining each relationship this side of eternity on His terms.

    Enjoy your fellowship as we pray for your leadership.

    Blessings.



  5. Joe Reeves
    Jan 29, 2013

    Waylon,

    I read your daily words every day and all have a relevance to our Christian lives but this one, as you know, hits home in the most profound way. It is a lesson we all need to learn and practice. Thank you for your faithfullness and prayers.

    JAR


    • Waylon
      Jan 29, 2013

      Thanks Joe and to all of you for your encouragement and your faithfulness to read. You make all of this worthwhile.


  6. Celia Sims
    Jan 29, 2013

    I look forward to reading your blog everyday and I too, have forwarded many to friends. You, Martha the church
    are always in my prayers. Thanks, for the great teachings and fond memories.


  7. Diana Goin
    Jan 30, 2013

    Waylon,
    I believe thanking God for given me the opportunity to joint First Baptist Church of Covington every Sunday, and for giving you the knowledge and desire to guide us in this tormented world is another way of praying for you!

    Thanks for your guidance!

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” — Matthew 19:14 (NIV)