Have you ever said something that hurt someone else, or perhaps caused unfavorable consequences for yourself? I know I’m guilty of that. For years, I didn’t care to think whether the words that came out of my mouth were either harmful words or words that encourage people, but thank God I have learned the power that words have. What you say can impact your life and the lives of others—for good or bad. So it is wise to think about what you’re going to say before you say it. The Bible tells us that even though our tongue is the smallest part of our body, it can cause the most damage.
“And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.”
I used to comfort myself with the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” knowing fully well that I get upset by words that weren’t encouraging. Words can indeed hurt people. In fact, it is one of the things that once said, can’t be taken back. It doesn’t matter who the words come from, if those words are hurtful, they can have a lasting effect on any individual. Same goes for encouraging words, they have the power to make a person, who probably was on the verge of doing something drastic to themselves, change their minds.
You should speak only words of encouragement that will build people up and make them feel better. You get many opportunities every day to put this into practice, but it requires real discipline and determination. We ought to keep in mind that the words we utter out do have a life of their own and can either bless or curse us in the long run. God told us in Deuteronomy 30:19, that He’s given us a choice between life and death and that we should choose life if we want to live long. It is up to us to either become who God wants us to be because He has given us that free will to choose either to obey Him or follow the path of the cunning man- the devil.
Someone’s words may have hurt you, or perhaps you have hurt someone with your words. But you can change that, starting now. It will take prayer and discipline, but God will help you develop and exercise control over the words you speak. Because we might have made mistakes in the past doesn’t mean that we cannot start all over again. The good thing about God is that His arms are always open, waiting for you to come to Him. He offers second chances to those who are willing to go to Him. I encourage you to call on God this day if you are struggling to control the words that come out from your mouth. Whenever the enemy wants to tempt you to say words that don’t bring glory to God, to a situation in your life, I admonish you to remember what God said about the power of the tongue.
“A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing, but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness. The Lord is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good. Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:1-4 (NLT)
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