One of the most powerful gifts God created in humans, is the ability to speak. The meaning, volume, and tone of our words can build up or tear down. In fact, Ephesians 4:29 says “let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only that which is good for building up.” Have you been on the receiving end of harsh, critical words…words that pierced your heart like a dagger? Sadly, many of us can relate. For children, this is a traumatic environment to live in. As for adults, we tend to shut down emotionally and our relationships suffer.
Let’s be honest, some of us are the ones spewing our venom at others. If you can’t speak without yelling, ranting, slandering, criticizing, or judging another, listen up! The scriptures are very clear on this issue. What comes out of your mouth is directly related to what is in your heart, as “out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45). Since this is a heart issue, it’s vital to acknowledge what’s taking place in your spirit. What are you angry, resentful, or bitter about? God gave us feelings which are a good thing. However, aiming our feelings at others (because we’re spiritually disturbed) is sinful. (Eph 4:26). Our goal is to “be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” (James 1:19).
Before you speak, ASK YOURSELF these simple questions:
• Is what I am going to say kind, loving or uplifting?
• Is what I am going to say honest and true? If so, can I speak the truth in love?
• Is my tone of voice calm?
• Do I need to say this right now? Is there a better time to discuss this?
• Are my motives God-honoring?
If you CAN’T answer “Yes” to each question, consider Proverbs 141:3 and “ask the Lord to set a guard over your mouth” while practicing the fruit of the spirit of self-control.
If you give full vent to your anger and lack self-control, pray and ask God for help. Meditate daily on scriptures regarding speech and let the words soak into your heart!
• Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. Proverbs 19:3
• Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Proverbs 17:21
• There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18
• But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Colossians 3:8
• May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 119:14
With God’s help, you can change the way you communicate with others. Your words can bring peace, healing, understanding, love, and light to those around you. You can go from tearing down another to building them up, which is of great importance and pleasing to God!
Your Insightful Life
Please help me to speak and think in ways that are honoring you. May I be aware of my tone of voice, my word choice, and the intention of my speech. May it build people up and be a reflection of your love! In your name, we pray, Amen.