The Life-And-Death Power Of Your Words

She sat across from me at the table, swirling the straw in her glass of pop. Her concerns poured out of her like water from the pitcher the waitress brought.

Once the words are out of your mouth, they can't be put back in.

The plates of food began to cool as she told me about the social media post she wrote, just to vent her frustration. She hit send without realizing it would be read by the wrong people. What was once a personal complaint turned into a topic of public conversation. Heat-of-the-moment words sliced into a heart that was never supposed to see them.

Now she was convicted of the power of those words. Her heart was broken for the heart she had inadvertently broken herself.

Why is it so difficult to control the tongue, one of the smallest parts of the body?

The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked. Proverbs 10:11

Poorly chosen words do violence wherever they fly. They demoralize, destroy and demolish everything in their path. They take no prisoners and pull no punches.

The well of life only overflows from us when we understand the blessings and consequences of how we speak. If we allow the Holy Spirit to control our mouths, our words will lift up and build up.  We will look for the best possible words to do the most good and offer the most love, compassion and support.

My friend now sees the difference in life-giving words and words that wound and tear down. The words of apology she plans to write won't cancel out the words that have already done their damage, but they can apply a balm to this bruised and broken relationship.

I pray that God's Word will permeate us so completely this week that our words don't stand a chance. Do whatever it takes to remind yourself to think before you speak - use two fingers to hold your lips together, put a sticky note on your phone or add reminders to your calendar. Make sure that you are lifting others up at every opportunity.

We give the waitress her tip and head for the door. I remind this special friend that her words reflect the Christ living in her. He will show her what to say and when to say it. And when not to say any words that don't bring Him honor and glory.

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