A look at how what we say can affect us
I never thought about it. It never occurred to me. My daughter said, “Mom you really shouldn’t say that “s” word.” Now before you start thinking that the “s” word was a swear word – it isn’t.
The word she meant was “stupid”. She has taught her children not to say that “s” word or the “d” word either – yes – dumb.
Frederick William Faber a noted English hymn writer and theologian, whose best-known work is Faith of Our Fathers is quoted to have said:
“With the help of grace, the habit of saying kind words is very quickly formed, and when once formed, it is not speedily lost.”
I like the fact that he says saying kind words is a habit we need to form and that once formed we hold on to that. The Bible tells us to be wise how we live.
Therefore it is so important that we not only teach our children to use a kind word but we as spouses, friends, and grandparents use words that we would like our children to get into the habit of using.
And certainly not use words that we would not want to hear our children repeating.
We are told in God’s Word, in Proverbs 16:24:
Kind words are like honey sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
When I first became a Christian even though I didn’t swear very often I started to notice that I still was capable of a rant with words that were not “honey to the soul”.
This was a choice I had to make.
Could I think before opening my mouth even when I felt angry and frustrated? The Holy Spirit helped me to use the fruit of the spirit to make my words encouraging and gracious. Is there anything blocking the fruit of the spirit in your family?
Choices: We make them every day, sometimes every minute.
Proverbs 15:23 says:
Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!
I don’t know about you but sometimes I answer without thinking it through.
Certainly email and texting has added to this haste to speak without deep thought. How can we make a “fitting reply” when we are hurried to text back, or answer an email?
God can help us change if we ask Him.
But we have to be willing to do the work.
Proverbs 10:20 says in The Message:
The speech of a good person is worth waiting for;
the blabber of the wicked is worthless.
Slowing down. I think that is what God is telling us.
It is worth waiting for the wise speech of a good person. They have thought through their words, carefully crafting the best way to explain something. They have prayed that God will bless those words.
How can we in our hurried lives learn to speak slowly, carefully and wisely?
Here are three ways I think will help you in this growth:
- When you wake up ask God to watch over your mouth for the entire day. Ask Him to speak to you if He senses you are going to make bad choices. And then be ready to listen to Him.
- Stop answering emails and text right away. Give it a few minutes at least so you can think over your replies especially if someone is seeking advice or has said something that you disagree with.
- Don’t react right away when confronted with anger, or disagreement. If necessary ask to be excused to the washroom (if this is a face-to-face meeting) and in that time – pray that God will calm your spirit, give you wisdom and give you peace.
Throughout Proverbs we are given Scripture after Scripture about the power of words. They can build up and tear down. They can cause division and hatred. They can bring reconciliation and love.
What do your words do?
May I pray for you and me,
Lord, you gave us the power of speech and the ability to think what we say. No other living creature that you created can do this. Let us use this gift wisely to show love, care and protection of one another. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Until next time, think about your words this week. Pray every morning for revelation. Learn to curb your impulses and speak with wisdom and love. And stay reading His Word.
For other thoughts on the power of words listen to my first 4 podcasts on Hope Stream Radio.
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