I’ve heard it said, “If you don’t know your purpose, you will be distracted by the voices.” The same principle applies to the purpose of our words. The Bible has a lot to say about the ways we should use our words.
To ENCOURAGE – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)
To WORSHIP – “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1-5)
“May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees. May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous.” (Psalm 119:171-172)
To TEACH – “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” (Proverbs 31:26)
To PROTECT – “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” (Proverbs 21:23)
To CONNECT – “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:6)
To CALM – “Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.” (Proverbs 26:20)
“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.” (Titus 3:1)
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” (Proverbs 15:1)
A tongue that is led by the flesh falls easily into speaking destruction, corruption, or gossip. A tongue that takes its cues from the leading of the Holy Spirit does not. Period.
The prophet Isaiah recognized the importance of his words. “The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.”(Isaiah 50:4) I read this and begin to ask God for a well-instructed tongue.
Recognizing his personal limitations but God’s limitlessness, Isaiah also wrote this, “Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.” (Isaiah 50:7)
Oh, how I wish I had this perfected. But I don’t. My words still put me to shame sometimes. It is only by the grace of God that I can speak in ways that honor God. Because like Isaiah, He helps me.
Without God’s intervention my sparky emotions can become a destructive force just looking for a place to happen. Especially with my family. But, thankfully, God helps me when I call to Him. And when I go off track, God convicts me… reminds me that I am His… that His Spirit is within me, and that His plan for me is greater. And He forgives. (Thank you, Jesus!)
I am challenged and changed by the love of Christ.
My words should be too.
Scripture points us to speak in ways that honor Christ, reflect His grace, echo His love, build others up and make much of Him. Paul encouraged the believers in Ephesus to, “…walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” (Ephesians 4:1) Today let’s determine to TALK in a way worthy of our calling.
Please help me choose my words wisely today. Instruct my tongue. Lead me to build others up and to worship You continually. Keep me from causing harm to others.
In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE
Consider Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” What one practical thing can you do today to move your tongue and heart in this direction? Share your “one thing”on the wall of my blog.