Everyday we all speak words, hundreds, thousands, and for some, even many, many more than that. Yet with all those words being spoken, how little attention we actually pay to them before we speak. I don’t believe our words have some supernatural or metaphysical effect, but I do know that when we speak we are sowing either life giving words or destructive words of death.
Some of the greatest blessings I’ve ever received in life are the result of words. They are words that are spoken with kindness, compassion, and encouragement, and done so from someone who I know loves me and has my best interest at heart. They are godly words because they are spoken with both truth and grace. Godly words also must always be said for the benefit of the hearer, not the speaker.
How sad it is that many people who say they follow Jesus are so quick to unleash their tongue and use it in an ungodly way against those who disagree with them. God is clear, “anyone who does not keep a tight rein on his tongue deceives himself and his religion is worthless (James 1:26). Like the Pharisees, they are quick to quote a scripture and wag their tongues at others but they fail to understand that for a verse of Scripture to represent God and His heart it must be said properly.
Godly words are those that are said in the right way, at the right time, and always motivated by the love of God—which means they are the result of your commitment to the best welfare of the other, not your self. The next time you are upset and want to lash out at someone, consider first grabbing hold of your tongue and asking yourself the following:
- Am I speaking from a place of hurt?
- Are my words for my benefit, to make me feel better, or for the benefit of the other?
- Does this even need to be said?
- Does this need to be said NOW?
- Is my intent to edify and build, or are they more likely to separate and destroy?
Unless you can answer yes to the above, it would be best to keep your lips shut and your tongue still. Indeed this is a tough thing to do, but God commands it of us.
James 3:6; The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.