How many times during the day do we speak without really thinking first? Sometimes the conversation is quite innocent. What do you think about this weather? How’s your family? etc. etc. No harm is done. It is just polite conversation that we use to engage with others.
Not all conversation is so innocent. We have all, at one time or another, gossiped or criticized others or repeated something we knew we shouldn’t, often without even thinking about what we were going to say before it slipped out! Our mouths are capable of bringing encouragement and blessings to others or harm and destruction. Wars have been started over words and wars have been ended by words. Our mouths have a lot of power behind them! It’s been my prayer that God would daily remind me to use my words more carefully. To stop and weigh my words before spitting them out.
There is so much negativity around us. I like to follow the news but seldom is there anything edifying or uplifting to be found. It is usually full of wars, disasters, abuse and crime. Good news is hard to come by! The world is full of individuals that focus on the negative in their lives. We all know people like this. They are the walking wounded that seldom have anything positive to say about their own lives or anyone elses. I’m not referring to people that are going through a difficult period and need encouragement here. We all need this from time to time but there are those who through their own confession have NOTHING good to say about anything or anyone. They are trapped in a cycle of voicing their woes and then experiencing exactly what they voice.
The Bible tells us that, “ But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.” Matthew 15:18 NIV What we say out loud is just an example of what is going on in our hearts. If you find yourself being critical or negative on a regular basis it’s time to do some self examining. Our negative words can be an overflow of bitterness or unforgiveness from inside us. If so, it’s time to get on our knees and confess it before God and ask for God’s forgiveness and also by an act of our will we need to forgive others we may be holding a grudge against. If we don’t deal with whatever is causing our negativity we will go around causing unnecessary hurt and damage to others by our words.
Just as we have the potential to cause pain to others with our words, we also have the ability to bring love, blessings and encouragement into their lives. I know when I have gone through really difficult days and someone has called with a word of encouragement it’s been so uplifting. Believers need to take serious God’s word and the importance it places on the power of our spoken words.
Proverbs 18:21 NIV 21 The tongue has the power of life and death.
Proverbs 13:3 NIV 3 Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
Ephesians 4:29 NIV 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Proverbs 16:24 NIV 24 Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Colossians 3:8 NIV 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
Matthew 12:37 NIV 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Start fresh…ask God to help you guard your tongue and think before speaking. There are many people out there needing a kind word.
Words (Photo credit: sirwiseowl)