We are all guilty. I’ve done it more times than I care to admit and I’m sure you have too. It just happens. And like that, the words are out. You can apologize, but you can’t take them back. You can never truly repair the damage words can cause. Words hurt. They hit deep. God has called us to be masters of our tongue and the words that are generated from it. We are to use our words to build up and encourage one other, not tear one another down. The tongue has power. In fact, according to Proverbs 18:21:
“The tongue has the power of life and death.”
People don’t always understand the tremendous power and impact that their words actually have. I was so disheartened at a recent middle school basketball game I attended. I arrived at my son’s game a little early and the coach from the game before was speaking to his team after they just had a tough loss.
Instead of trying to point out the positives and encourage these boys to work harder the following week, he decided to let them know how “embarrassed he was” of their performance on the court. He continued to berate them letting them all know that he “was not paid to be their coach” and that they were “wasting his time.”
Wow! I’m sure those kids felt built up after that pep talk. The coach had an opportunity to encourage his team, yet he chose to use his words as a weapon instead of a life-giving source.
We all are careless with our words and say things we shouldn’t from time to time. But, we need to realize that exercising control of our tongue is an intentional practice. It doesn’t occur by happenstance. It requires work and wisdom from above. We need to start our day asking the Holy Spirit to guide our words and conversations. We have a responsibility of speaking life and spreading love to this world.
Ladies, ask yourself, “what do I want my words to accomplish?” I don’t know about you, but I want to speak hope into the hopeless, life into the lifeless, joy into the downcast, and peace into the fear stricken. I want my words to bring healing to the broken. There are so many broken people out there that just need a kind word to set them back on course. I want to be a woman who delivers that kind word. This won’t happen by chance. It requires discipline and total reliance on God.
“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18