Choose Your Words Carefully

Unless you live in a remote corner of the jungle or stay in your bedroom 24/7, you have some kind of contact with people every day. It may just be a phone call, or it might be interacting with the public each day at your job. What it comes down to is this - you have to speak to them.

In this modern age of texting, email and social media, it is very easy for people to communicate. This is splendid if you're staying in touch with family, want to share an encouraging word or have news to pass along.

But more and more, people are using these types of communication to use language in very negative ways. Words have the power of life and death, the Scriptures say, and from the abundance of your heart come your words. This is becoming more clear every day as you go through your normal, everyday life.

This is scary when you receive an email from someone you've never even met who wants to critique your job. Or you work somewhere you have to answer the phone and talk to customers. Or you just happen to get the cranky clerk in the checkout line. Their words mean different things to you than they did when they were still in their heads.

Harmful, hurtful, discouraging words do nothing. They don't make the speaker feel better and they don't encourage change in the person they were directed to. Getting angry and using negative language doesn't make the other person want to do things better or more quickly or work harder to solve the problem. Instead, they cause hurt and frustration and a stumbling block.

I beg you today - please watch your language. And I'm not talking about swearing or using vile phrases. I'm referring to the tone, meaning and purpose of your words.

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Ephesians 4:29

Edifying means lifting up, instructing and encouraging. Forget the negative, "I'll show her who's smarter, better, funnier, cooler, more interesting" language. This serves absolutely no purpose in the Kingdom of God. Nowhere in Scripture can I find verses where Jesus Christ tells us to put other people in their place, make fun of their mistakes or make snide comments. That's not His message.

Minister grace - I love that phrase. Everything that comes out of your mouth should minister grace.

She open her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. Proverbs 31:26

Choose your words carefully. Sometimes it's better to hold your tongue than be a stumbling block for someone else. Sometimes it's better to let it go instead of putting a spotlight on it. And it's always best to have an encouraging conversation, to lift them up when they've been knocked down, than to grind your heel in a little while they're on the ground.

Be mindful of your words today. They can destroy or they can build up. Be a builder.

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