Our words are more important than we know. Every day we are speaking things without even thinking about the words first. All kinds of words are escaping our mouths before we have the time to really put thought into any of them.
Or maybe the problem is that we wouldn’t think about them even if we had the chance.
If you made yourself consider every sounds that came out of your mouth for 24 hours, would you think anything of these common sayings,
“I’m dying here!”
“I hate you.”
“My ______ is killing me!”
Even if we say these things in a sarcastic or joking tone so that everyone knows we are not serious, think about if the things you said would then literally happen! If just simply saying how your head is killing you could lead to a headache that literally kills you. That’s crazy! Right?
The bible tells us this about our words:
Proverbs 18:20-21 NIV
“From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death…”
You’ll notice that I highlighted some of the words of this scripture. Look at them again and see how God tells us the power in our words.
Not convinced? There are plenty more. In fact, I can’t fit them all into this post or it would be insanely long! But here are a few favorites:
Proverbs 12:18 NIV
“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Matthew 12:36 NIV
“But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
James 1:26 ESV
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.”
Colossians 4:6 NIV
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
What does “salt” refer to in this scripture? We are instructed to keep our words tasteful and appropriate so that what we say will not tear anyone down, but build them up. That is a command given multiple times by God.
Ephesians 4:29 ESV
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Now, there are a lot of powerful scriptures that refer to words in the Bible, but I don’t feel that they would serve the purpose I’m trying to get across today. So, I didn’t list them. I am not a fan of taking God’s Word out of context. Instead, I’ll save them for another day. The point I’m trying to make is that we need to watch ourselves and how we speak.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not perfect. I say things in passing that if taken literal wouldn’t be what I wanted at all! (Sarcasm runs in the family.) Still, I try to make an effort and remind myself to watch my words.
Instead of saying things like “my arthritis is flaring up” or “the noise in here is killing me” maybe we should try to think of something fruitful that builds up to replace that with. Sometimes, I’ve found just replacing complaints, casual comments, or popular sayings that tend to be negative with something cheery and uplifting can completely change the mood I’m in and maybe others around me. A few kind words can lift the dark mood settling over a room in an instant if given the chance.
So, let’s take Toby’s advice and Speak Life!