10 Words That Disempower Others

10 Words That Disempower Others

10 Words That Disempower Others

by Steve Backlund

Here is an excerpt from Steve’s new book The Culture of Empowerment: How to Champion People.  It is from the chapter “Empowering Language.” The type of language we use in conversations and teachings is critical for life to be released. “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but only that which is of necessary edification, that it may impart grace to hearers,” (Ephesians 4:29).

Words that Disempower

Here are the types of words that will disempower others in their relationship with us. Let’s purpose to rid these corrupting words from our lives. 

  1. Accusatory words that are dominated by the word “YOU.” “You always…” or “You never…“
  2. Labeling words – Past-based identity statements spoken over people. “She is a very disorganized person.”
  3. Limiting words – “You could never do that” or “That is impossible” or “You are non-administrative.”
  4. Prejudice words – “Young people today are lazy!”
  5. Victim words – “Because of what has happened to you in the past, you need the government to take care of you. There is no other answer.” We may not say those exact words, but we might as well have.
  6. Guilt language –”If you were a good Christian or person, you would…”
  7. Bitterness language – “You have hurt me so much. You are a horrible person.”
  8. Abusive authority language – “God will be angry with you if you don’t do what I say.”
  9. Negative identity words – “You are stupid” or “You don’t care” or “You are selfish.”
  10. Law words – “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life,” (2 Corinthians 3:6). “The letter” is when preachers and teachers tell people what they are supposed to do much more than telling them what Christ has done and who they are in Him.

If you have time, I encourage you to meditate on what is the opposite type of language for each of these above. 

We will share eleven more types of disempowering words in an upcoming blog. 

Related Resource: Declarations

“Nothing happens in the Kingdom unless a declaration is made.”

Believers everywhere are realizing the power of declarations to empower their lives. You may be wondering “What are declarations and why are people making them?” or maybe, “Aren’t declarations simply a repackaged ‘name it and claim it’ heresy?”

Declarations answers these questions by sharing 30 biblical reasons for declaring truth over every area of life. Steve Backlund and his team also answer common objections and concerns to the teaching about declarations. The revelation this book carries will help you to set the direction your life will go. Get ready for 30 days of powerful devotions and declarations that will convince you that life is truly in the power of the tongue.

Are you a passionate pursuer of growth?

Find more resources here.


Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

For more, check out Steve’s iTunes podcast, YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram.