Words – Hurtful or Helpful?

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”  Psalms 19:14 

Words may seem small, but they are mighty powerful.  They can pack a punch or soothe a soul…the result depends on the heart of the one speaking.

Have you ever considered how the words we say reflect who we really are on the inside?  Have you listened to yourself talk to your spouse, children or friends?  What about the chatter you say to yourself?  Do your words build up or are they laced with sarcasm, mockery, negativity and pessimism?

Raise your hand if you’ve harmed someone else with your words. (Uh….okay, my hand is in the air.)  Raise your hand if you’ve harmed yourself by your own words.  (Okay, okay…stop asking questions already!)

The point is that we all struggle with keeping our tongue tamed.  Most of us don’t wake up thinking we are going to injure others with our words.  But, do we get up each morning intending to lift up others?

I would love to say that I do, but that would be FAR from the truth.

Words are seldom contemplated before they come out of our mouths.  Sadly, we do as much harm to ourselves as we do to others by not ‘thinking before we speak.’  The wounds are due to the litany of negative comments that destroy confidence and sabotage success.

The Bible has PLENTY to say on this subject.  My favorites are the following:

  1. Luke 6:45 – “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”
  2. James 1:19 – “My dear brothers, take note of this:  Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
  3. James 3:6 – “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.  It corrupts the whole person, sets the course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
  4. James 3:8 – “But no man can tame the tongue.  It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”
  5. Ecclesiastes 5:3 – “As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words.”
  6. Romans 3:13-14 – “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.  The poison of vipers is on their lips.  Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”

However, there IS HOPE!  Awareness is the first obstacle.  We have to train ourselves to strap on Godly duct tape when we find ourselves about to spew negativity on ourselves or others.  Then we need to ask God to dictate the words that come out of our mouths.  And finally, we need to ask God for discernment to speak the right words at the right time.

We all have the opportunity to heal the world around us and make a positive difference just by guarding the words we say to ourselves and others.

Do you have trouble taming your tongue?  Let me know what works for you to be mindful of the words you say!

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 26:18-19 – Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”

2 Responses

  1. Ask yourself: are those words that I am about to speak, life affirming for those who will here it? If not, is there a better way to speak them so that they are life affirming? If not, or can’t be made affirming to those who will hear it, why does it need to be said?

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