When the message came through, my immediate thought was not very kind. Instead of responding with my initial reaction, I stopped, took a deep breath, and prayed. I waited several hours and then talked to my husband Kyle before replying. I wanted to be wise and measured in my response.
If I’m honest, I’m someone who would love to—at times—put another person in their place, at least from the way that I see it. My love of words can sometimes get me into trouble when I allow foolish talk to leave my lips unfiltered. I’ve regretted words that were spoken and sought forgiveness more times than I can count.
I’ve seen the power the tongue has to bring death or life in relationships. I know how it can be used to tear another down, discourage or bring heartache to those around me. But on the flip side, I’ve also seen how our words have the potential to bring life, to speak peace, to encourage and build others up. There is power in the way that we talk and the way that we choose to use our words.
In an age where people often seem to say whatever they think and feel haphazardly, spilling reckless words onto others and often causing discord and division, we can be the ones to step in to use our words wisely. We can be the ones to use the way that we talk to bring life to situations and people around us. We can calm a situation or send it into a frenzy, all by the things we let slip from our mouths. And the result will be, for better or worse, that we will reap the consequences of the things that we say.
Lord, help me watch what I say today. Give me wisdom to know when to speak and when to remain silent. Help me to use my words to build others up, not tear them down. Amen.
One Good Step: Be mindful to use your words to bring life to yourself and the people around you.