By Judy Fussell
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35
Each year excitement rose as I anticipated the annual visit to North Carolina from my Tennessee cousins. We loved gathering at Granddaddy’s house where the grownups visited and we kids played hard. I distinctly recall one occasion when my cousin and I did all in our power to avoid being “caught” in the presence of her mom or our granddad. Each loved to talk, and we were much too busy to be bothered by their many words.
Our world is noisy and distracting. A jet zooming overhead, a neighbor’s lawnmower, a large truck rumbling by, a fierce wind storm, or perhaps even the morning song of nearby birds give cause to steal our attention.
Today, however, let’s reflect on “people noise” created when countless words gush every second from either wise or foolish lips. We have blaring TVs, social media, news networks, songs, work, friends, and family all from which words are poured into our being. Even from within our thoughts, flow millions of words and ideas which may or may not have a beneficial effect upon us.
We were created to communicate and speaking seems to be the easiest way to get our points across quickly. The Bible has much to say about our words! It contains hundreds of verses about how spoken words reveal the condition of our hearts, how they have the power of life and death, and the dire consequences of rash words. Among seven things that are detestable to God are lying lips and haughtiness which leads to boasting. (Proverbs 16: 6-19) This is sobering if we claim God’s Word as truth!
God’s words are essential to life, and ours matter as well. Meditate on the following verses about our words:
But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. Matthew 12:36-37
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18
For whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 1 Peter 3:10
We are all aware that words flow fast and furiously from many sources including ourselves. It’s important to ask:
- Have I taken the time to hear what God has to say about my words?
- Do I weigh my words carefully before they are allowed to spill out onto others?
- Will my chosen words bring healing or pierce the heart of another?
- Have I deceived myself and others with so many lies that I actually believe them to be true?
- How am I influenced by my thoughts, and are they in line with God’s truth?
My cousin and I, those long years ago, were much too busy to be bothered by the many words from our elders. I wonder now what wisdom we may have gleaned had we been respectful enough to stop, listen and learn from them. Words are of utmost importance to us all as we navigate and connect with one another in this life. The eternal Word of God reveals exactly how we are to use this grand gift of speech! Let’s use our words well!
Search the scriptures for other verses regarding the tongue. Write them and review them often. Begin by focusing on James 3:1-18. These grievous passages point out just how deadly our tongue can be!
Father, You tell us in Your Word just how difficult it is to control the tongue. Please forgive our rash words and teach us to be still before You. Let Your truth dwell within us that we may always remember the power of our words. Teach us to think before we speak. Let us remember always that we are to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. (James 1:19) May we be ever mindful to season our words with kindness. Teach and empower us through Your Holy Spirit to use our words for good in order to build up and encourage others so You, Father, might be glorified. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Listen to Speak Life by Toby Mac
© 2021 by Judy Fussell. All rights reserved.
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