The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. -Proverbs 15:4
Words have power.
We can build others up or destroy them with our words. My wife once told me that, when she was in grade school, her teacher said the sixth commandment (You shall not kill) also applied to the words we said. So, we can hurt, maim, and kill others with our choice of words…especially when we let our words flow recklessly and without restraint. We can unleash words that can leave marks and scars on the recipients.
This is an area where I’m working on improving, and continue to do so daily. It’s sometimes my inappropriate sense of humor, or my lack of restraint when having to throw in a jab or potshot…and I’m doing better at it.
For some of us, it might be gossip, casting a negative light on others, or just out-and-out insults and bashing. We can all work on being more prudent with what leaves our mouths.
A Joyce Meyer devotional on the topic expounds on these six points:
- Use your words to bless.
- Be thankful and say so.
- Encourage, edify, and build others up.
- Tell the truth.
- Speak the word of God.
- Don’t talk too much.