On most nursing units the “q” word is never uttered, lest mayhem and chaos soon follow: quiet. Just the other night I mentioned that my patients were doing well and it should be a quiet night, when another nurse said “you just jinxed yourself.” My response was simply “I don’t believe in that.” As a believer I find it frustrating at times that this Q-taboo seems to be so prevalent in the industry, as though that one simple word by itself carries so much overarching power that all other circumstances will fall under the weight of its mighty domain.

Little with gesturing with finger for keeping quiet

Little girl gesturing  with finger to keep quiet

The word “jinx” originates from the latin word jynx, describing a wryneck bird. It is found in Africa, Asia, and Europe, and in addition to being used in spells and divination, it has the unique ability to turn its head 180 degrees. Interestingly enough, most common uses of the word “jinx” refer to a situation being turned 180 degrees on its head, although I don’t believe this has anything to do with the etymology of the word. Basically, a “jinx” is a mental construct describing a spell or curse, and has come to hold meaning over time.


Fast forward to the present, I find it quite strange that speaking positively over my night is somehow construed by others as a negative. Proverbs 18:21 says “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.“ The words we speak carry power, and we have the ability to choose outcomes in life situations based on the things we choose to speak and believe. I find it fascinating that believers and nonbelievers alike recognize this truth. For example, some believe that saying the q-word will bring calamity on their life, and so they avoid “speaking death” over their situation. On the contrary, I recognize that my words carry the power of life, so I choose to speak positive, lifegiving statements over my workplace, such as the night being quiet, which means there are no major problems or emergencies that will come up.


I encourage you to pay more attention to the things you speak in this coming week. Are the words you use lifegiving, or do they tear down, uproot, and destroy? While words themselves carry far less power than words spoken with emotion behind them, the things we say still carry a measure of our God-given authority and power when we speak them forth. Let this be a reminder to us all to choose wisely the things we speak, that we would constantly engage the Kingdom of Light in all that we say! Blessings to you!


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