USING OUR WORDS WISELY
Written by Sharonda Faison
Words have power. It is a truth that has been around for ages. As Christians, this should come as no surprise to us. Why, then, does it seem like it is so hard sometimes to speak positive, and so easy to speak negatively? Why are those four letter words the first to come to mind? Why is complaining so easy, and why is gossip so scandalously entertaining? Words do have power, but a power source misdirected can be a deadly force. How can we teach ourselves to say the things we should, and as importantly, how do we stop saying the things we shouldn’t?
I think it’s important to first listen to what we are actually saying. Do you give out more words of encouragement or ridicule? Do you point out your flaws or the flaws of others? Do you say exactly what’s on your mind even if it may offend others around you? And though this may sound a little odd, do you ever look in the mirror and remind yourself of what God says about you? We have to know what we are saying to know which direction to go.
Matthew 12:34 says that it is out of the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks. I really like how Luke 6:45 expounds on this by adding, “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.” What we should pull from this is that we must first store up good in our hearts. How do we do this? Philippians 4:8 gives us a clue. It says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
By thinking on what is good, we allow those good things into our hearts, and since we speak from the heart, we are then able to speak those good things! The more we store, the more we can pull from! Thus, we teach ourselves to say the things we should, because we are careful to submit our thoughts to the things of God. And as importantly, we stop saying the things we shouldn’t because we stop thinking on things we shouldn’t. When we have control over our tongue, it is an indication that we have control over our self. Whoever can control the tongue can bridle the whole body. (James 3:2)
Because our words are so powerful, we must make sure that when we use them, we use them wisely. Remember, the Israelites’ words kept them out of the Promised Land. The Word tells us that God spoke the very earth into existence. Let’s be quick to listen and slow to speak so we can ensure that the good things we have stored in our hearts are the first things that come to our minds, and the first things to flow from our lips.