One of the biggest things I have battled with is thinking before I speak. I used to just say whatever popped into my head, no matter how rude or insensitive it was, without thinking of how my words could affect those around me.
Ephesians 4 verse 29 says; “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” When reading this verse it is hard not to feel convicted about how I use my words. I should be speaking in a way that is kind, encouraging, and ultimately glorifying to God.
In James chapter 3 we read of how powerful our tongue truly is. “7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” In the book of Proverbs the author tells us that words can speak life or death; “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits” (Prov. 18:21). These verses show us just how difficult it can be to watch what we say and “tame our tongue.”
In the psalms we read of David calling out to the Lord for help with this very thing; “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Ps. 141:3). It is so important that we ask for the Lord’s help with this in our own lives. On our own we cannot successfully conquer this struggle, yet by God’s grace through the righteousness of Christ we are able to overcome. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13).
When we take time to think before we speak, we are able to consider how our words can affect others—whether that is in a positive or negative way. “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” (Prov. 16:24), “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov. 16:1). One of the biggest blessings I have experienced through trying to choose my words carefully is seeing the way that I can encourage others through words of affirmation. It is so wonderful to be able to encourage others through the words we speak!
As believers, our goal in life should be to bring glory to God in everything that we do—including how we speak. Though this can be hard at times, through prayer, studying the Word, and leaning on Christ, we can use our words to speak life into others and glorify God’s name.
One verse that is great to use when we pray is Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” It is simple, yet powerful. We should take time each day to ask God for His help to guide our speech and shape our hearts and minds to reflect Him.
How will you use your words today?