Has anyone every hurt you with their words? Have you ever regretted something you said and wish you could have taken it back? Our tongues can be so quick to speak but yet can deeply damage others at length. It is important that we consider the dangerous aspects of our words. God cares for us and warns us about our tongues, we would be wise to listen…
Harshness Multiplies. Our words are like a “fire” (James 3:6) that can quickly turn a disagreement into a disaster. Fights can escalate and expand quickly with the wrong words. When people handle fireworks or weapons they are extremely cautious because they realize the danger embedded within them. Don’t disregard the explosive and damaging potential of your words.
Proverbs 15:1 “a harsh word stirs up anger”
Foolishness Displays Itself. Think about a time when you did something stupid. Did you feel embarrassed or ashamed? Did you quickly try to cover up or explain away your mistake or mess? When we speak people begin to form opinions about us, our character, and our competence. Don’t give people a reason to think poorly about you.
Proverbs 15:2 “the mouths of fools pour out folly”
Words Hurt Us. We can often lash out to find temporary relief from our bitterness only to realized the poisonous brew we drank in our cruelty. We can tell crude jokes to gain a laugh but in the end we lose our reputation. Don’t hurt yourself with your words when there are so many opportunities for good.
Proverbs 15:4 “perverseness in it [the tongue] breaks the spirit.”
Words Hurt Others. Ever give a piece of bad advice that you wish you could take back? Ever witness the hurt you caused someone with your malicious or manipulative mouth? God calls us to prioritize others above ourselves. May we pour out love and truth from our lips instead of hatred and lies. Don’t tear down others when you have the opportunity to build them up.
Romans 16:18 “For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.”
Words Hurt God. Our tongues are meant to bring God honor, but often we are self-focused and miss the purpose the mouths God gave us. Scoffing and mocking bring God’s opposition (Prov. 3:34). God’s hates lies and divisive words (Proverbs 6:16-19). Don’t disregard God’s warning about His hatred of wicked words when He has created you for a greater purpose.
James 3:10 “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”
Words Evidence A Path Headed to Hell. Doctors use scans and tests to evidence and diagnose the physical condition of a heart. Our words can evidence and diagnose the spiritual condition of our souls. Jesus lovingly warns us that “on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak” (Matthew 12:33-37). Will your words justify you as being on a path to Heaven, evidencing a saved, good heart? Or will your words condemn you as being on a path to Hell, evidencing a lost, evil heart? Examine your heart through the evidence of your mouth and be concerned if you think you are saved but your tongue tells another story. Don’t be a hypocrite and be surprised by a future rejection from Jesus’ eternal presence (Matthew 7:23).
James 1:26 “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.”
We can we do about all of this today? We can listen to God’s words about our words and sincerely seek His forever forgiveness, cleansing, and change.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”