I have to admit that sometimes, I have allowed things fly out of my mouth without engaging my brain first. In Proverbs 10, I read that I must carefully guard the words that come out of my mouth because of the impact they have on others – especially those people who are closest to me.
“The words of a good person give life, like a fountain of water, but the words of the wicked contain nothing but violence.” Proverbs 10:11 (NCV)
Isn’t that the truth?
Have you had someone zap the life right out of you simply by the words they said? It’s like the words roll off their tongue and cut you off at the ankles. I know I have felt belittled and unloved at the expense of someone else’s words. Sometimes I have allowed unkind words to hinder my walk with Christ. I have been so enraged at the words of another that I have held anger and bitterness in my heart towards the person who said them. But this isn’t what Jesus wants for us. He doesn’t want us “holding onto” bitterness and anger.
The book of James tells us that the tongue is the smallest part of our body (James 3:5) but it makes the greatest impact. Isn’t that the truth! The impact of our words can be used for building people up or tearing people down.
In Proverbs 10, Solomon tells us the positive aspects of the words we say:
· Proverbs 10:13 – “smart people speak wisely”
· Proverbs 10:20 – “their words are like pure silver”
· Proverbs 10:21 – “they will help many others”
Where does wisdom come from? Wisdom comes from the One who spoke life into us, our loving Father. Reading Proverb 10 has challenged me to look inward and ask myself a few questions:
· How am I using my words?
· Do I speak words that will build others up (Eph. 4:29)
· Do I tear people down with my words?
It is up to me to watch my tongue. The power it has can either positively or negatively impact those around me.
Today I choose to be more mindful of the words I use. I am committed to having a positive impact by the words I speak…what about you?
Related reading: Ephesians 4:29 – 30, James 3:5-10, James 1:26, Proverbs 25:11, Proverbs 15:23