“For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34)
We all know from experience that words can hurt, or words can help. We’ve probably all said some things that we wish we could take back, and I am sure there are times we can all remember when others have wounded us through their hurtful words.
During our lifetime we meet all sorts of people, and most of us care about what others think of us and don’t like to be judged or criticized. But people in our lives can hurt us with their words accidentally or intentionally, and either way their words can leave scars that take time to heal. Words of dishonor, sarcasm, judgment, and criticism (to name a few!) root deeply in our hearts. I am sure that many of us have recited to ourselves the childhood rhyme “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” to remind us that people’s words can’t hurt us. But even for those of us who believe we have a pretty tough exterior, we aren’t immune to negative language and words that offend or wound us, because even though hostile words may not cause us permanent damage they can and will sting and linger.
On the other hand, I am sure there have been plenty of times in our lives when we wish we had been more careful when speaking! The words we speak can either discourage or inspire; they can either destroy or build; and one thing I know for sure is that when they are spoken they can’t be changed or taken back. Words are powerful things and they certainly have the potential for great good or great harm. Our words are much more powerful than we realize, and when we open our mouth to say something, the words we speak have the power to break people and leave lifelong scars. Our poorly chosen words break one’s spirit and cause deep emotion wounds. There is a lot of power in the spoken word and clearly, it really doesn’t take long to realize that words have far more weight than we realize. Once we have released them from our lips they travel like the speed of light and nothing can be done to reverse the effect to those that hear them.
We know that words spoken to us have the capacity and power to affect the way we feel about ourselves, and we must realize that our words have the same impact on those around us.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs; that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)
“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11)
Our words go before us to announce the person that we are, and Jesus reminds us that what we say reveals what is in our heart. Our words must be a ministry to those who hear them, and as Christians whose hearts have been changed by His power we should be prepared to speak words full of blessing and a reason for hope to everyone. We should always allow our words to be uplifting and spirit-filled, because we have been blessed and are expected to use words that heal and inspire. When we use our tongues wisely to bless, heal, and give thanks to others, our words demonstrate the power of our faith and they are used as an instrument of His love and saving grace.
Linking up with these inspiring blogs this week: