Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”
Ephesians 4:29, “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”
In the movie Bambi, Thumper’s mom said it best, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” We should keep that in mind when we’re tempted to speak impulsively when we’re upset, defensive, or hurt. Why do our manners go out the window when it comes to those closest to us as we drop uncensored verbal bombs? We wouldn’t dream of saying such things to anyone else!
The pain we inflict on loved ones can be avoided when we remember that our words should be limited, legit, and life-giving. But that doesn’t happen by accident. We must think before we speak, or as it’s been said, “Taste our words before we spit them out!”
Thankfully, the Holy Spirit is here to convict our hearts and help us know when to speak and when to not “say nothin’.” For example:
When we talk too much, the Holy Spirit can prompt us to talk less and ask more questions.
When we begin to exaggerate with accusations, including the words “always” and “never,” the Holy Spirit can remind us to tone down the rhetoric and stick with the truth.
When our words are tearing others down, the Holy Spirit might make us cringe at what’s coming out of our mouths.
The key to choosing words wisely in those moments is to do more than just recognize the warning; we must act on it! When we do, we’ll see a remarkable difference in our relationships as we grow to be more like Christ, one positive word at a time!
This week, actively look for opportunities to encourage others with your words. Chances are, you will discover that you, too, feel encouraged!
Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your lovingkindness. Each day, help me control my tongue, especially with those closest to me. Let my words encourage others and be a reflection of You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.