Words matter. “Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will never hurt me” the old saying goes. That is not true at all. Our bodies seem to heal much faster and easier than our feelings and relationships. Complaining, murmuring, gossip, slander, and divisiveness have no place in the character of God’s people.
Professor Dumbledore said:
“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Our words can be incredibly dangerous.
“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.” James 3:5-6.
Our words can also be incredibly powerful tools for good.
“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life” (Proverbs 10:11). Isaiah said, “The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary” (Isaiah 50:4).
Of course we know the best words we can use and the words most needed are Gospel words. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17). Let’s use our words for good. “So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome” (Romans 1:15).
Our words are windows into our souls.
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45).
The best way to work on your speech is to work on your hearts. Romans 12:2 tells us to be “transformed by the renewing of your minds.” New minds bring new words for building up and Gospel spreading.
Let’s work on our words. Decide today to use your words with Heaven in mind. The Gospels record both the actions and the words of Jesus. Both are dear to us. Both inspire us. Both direct us. And when we see Jesus again, it will be his words of welcome we hope to hear.