Usually I agree that the book is indeed better than the movie. However, there is one line of dialogue added in the original Jurassic Park movie that deserves credence. 

It’s the scene when John Hammond, the park’s founder, and Ellie Saddler, a paleobotanist asked to review the park, sit at a table in the Visitor’s Center dining area, exhausted, processing the reality that, with the power being out, dinosaurs now have free range of the park. 

The conversation switches from the overwhelming emotional power of Jurassic Park to literal power—like electrons and such—being out. 

Ellie says, “I made a mistake, too. I didn’t have enough respect for that power and it’s out now.”

Little did she know, something so common would have the power to change everything. I admire this underrated moment because it is a powerful reminder that oftentimes the little things are the big things. 

This truth often eludes us given the cultural infatuation with: big is better. So the little things get pushed aside. Little things like words. Specifically the words we speak to ourselves, which Scripture reveals, have the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21).

Simultaneously we know that “If we have nothing nice to say, then we shouldn’t say anything at all.” But if you’re like me, that’s nearly impossible to do toward myself, especially living so acutely aware of my shortcomings.

As such, these negative words spoken to self cut deep because they are rooted in either a partial or full truth: a past failure, critique or experience.

And it’s in these little moments—ones we hardly give a thought to—that our identity takes a hit and we stop living like we are His.

Can you relate? Are you living beneath your calling because of the words you speak to yourself? That can change and here’s how:

Recognize the power of words.

James, Jesus’ brother wrote, “Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way,” later comparing the power of our words to that of a bit in a horse’s mouth, rudder of a large ship, and spark able to torch a forest (James 3:2-6).

Like electricity, we can become complacent to the power our words possess, so the first step is being reminded that speech is from God, and as such, carries tremendous power—which Uncle Ben from Spiderman reminds us that “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Capture the hurtful words.

When Paul writes to the Corinthians about the impending battle against the flesh, he reminds them to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:5), which one commentator explains as “the thoughts of people are like enemies that [are captured during war]. We take every one of them prisoner and make them obey Christ.” [1] This is about alignment.

How do you “take captive” your thoughts? Ask yourself: does what I’m saying to or about myself align with what God would say to or about me? If not, trash it. Cling only to what your Creator would say—which hint: He calls you His masterpiece (go check out Ephesians 2:10). 

RELATED: 4 Ways Your Words Can Alter The Direction of Your Life

Speak life-giving words.

Pastor Craig Groeschel says, “If we’re going to do everything God has called us to do in our families, churches, and communities, we must replace negative thoughts with God’s truth.” To do this, he encourages us to craft some statements that God can use to renew our minds as we meditate on who we are in Him by developing what he calls a “personal declaration” which helps us to “fight back against negative thinking” because “our lives move in the direction of our strongest thoughts.” 

Daily as we should, Pastor Craig speaks life-giving words to himself, such as: “Jesus is first” in his life and that he exists to “serve and glorify Him.” And that he will “love people and believe the best about others.” He also mediates on truths from Scriptures including: “I am a child of God” (Galatians 3:26); “I am Christ’s ambassador” (2 Corinthians 5:20); and I’m being filled with life from the Holy Spirit and defeating the lies that hold me back.

For the complete list of daily declarations spoken by Craig to himself visit the Life.Church blog.

Whether it’s taking for granted the power needed to contain an island full of ravenous dinosaurs, or the meditation needed to corral the conversations in your head, oh, what a mistake it would be to continue living complacent to the power of the words you are speaking to yourself: those little things you and I both say that keep us from living a life worthy of our calling. So from this day forward, let us recognize the power of our words, vet them against God’s Word, and speak daily the ones that breath life—not extinction—into our future.

[1] Omanson, R. L., & Ellington, J. (1993). A handbook on Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians (p. 180). New York: United Bible Societies.