Words. They can be heavy. They can hurt. They can heal. They can help. Recently, I have seen up close and personal the impact of words on others. I have watched as carelessly used words have hurt friends and caused conflicts within church and friend groups. I’ve seen feelings hurt and open doors closed. Y’all, we need to be careful with our words because they are powerful.
When I think of Bible verses regarding words and the importance of our language, I often think of cursing and just using bad words. That is not a struggle for everyone, though it is in many places in today’s environment. But also and very importantly, we must watch how we use our words. The words we speak about others, the things we say. I think back to my grandmother’s words, “is it true, is it kind, is it necessary?” I can speak from experience in saying that using words to gossip about others, telling lies and making implications that are untrue can be devastating. Unfortunately, I have been on the receiving end of the lies. In the next week or so, Ray and I are planning a Reclaiming Hope podcast titled “True or it Ain’t” and we will address some specific gossip shared about us in the last few years. It is shocking what people will make up against you and then spread like facts. It is also bad because it might only be one or two people, but you may have the fear that it is 100. Words can hurt.
Paul wrote in Colossians 4:6 to “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” In James 1:26, the half brother of Jesus writes that “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.”
This is just a sampling of the many verses that are found in the Bible of the dangers of the tongue. It should be noted that these statements were made by two men in the Bible who used their tongue to spread the gospel.
I think it is good to be mindful that our words can either build up or destroy. Sometimes our words may last for generations. They can break up churches and homes, or they can bring you together. Use your words for good, not for evil.