Mind Your Language


How powerful do you consider the words you speak?


Lord, You spoke and the worlds were created. Help me to be mindful and speak only life.


Proverbs 17:1-28


How powerful do you consider the words you speak?

Whoever said, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me" clearly had never read Proverbs! This Bible book has a great deal to say about the use of the tongue, which "has the power of life and death" (18:21).

Words are incredibly powerful tools. They can wound and destroy others (4,5,7). Quarreling, lies, and a loose tongue (14,19,20) are often at the root of interpersonal conflict. Then grief is introduced into the family circle (21,25) and other relationships sour (5,13,26). In contrast, kind words can lubricate relationships (9,14). Usually they are spoken by wise, even-keeled people (27), real friends whose words are helpful and loving, even when we need rebuking (10,17).

Some people need a language school, learning to speak fewer but wiser words--kinder, less critical ones. Remember the one who bears the title "the Word"? During his ministry, people were amazed at his "gracious words" (Luke 4:22). In death, he prayed, "Father, forgive" (Luke 23:34). His "wonderful words of life" bring salvation to the world.


Ponder verse 28: "Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent." Ask God to help you use words sparingly.


Father in heaven, let me speak words of life, blessing, and healing. Let me speak Your words.

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