God's Roadmap

Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground (Psalm 143:10 NASB).

Sunday, May 1, 2016

How Important are the Words We Speak?

by Barbara Latta

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you
Our speech should be seasoned with salt.
ought to answer each one”
(Colossians 4:6 NKJV).

 Words are a natural part of our lives. It’s hard to imagine going through even one day without saying a single thing. That’s why it is so important to have good communication coming out of our mouths.  Most of us grew up hearing taunts spit at us by other children on the playground. The usual response would be “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” While that sounds like a clever retort, nothing could be further from the truth. 

A wound made by a stick or stone can heal and later is forgotten, but words can stab at our hearts leaving a painful opening in our soul. Wounded people wound others and this can cause us to form barriers against forming relationships and can cause violent responses when we hear words against us. We can apologize for thoughtless comments, but the hurtful words remain behind and can’t be taken back. Negative words bring negative circumstances.

 Jesus said in Mark 11:23 that we can have what we say. If we are constantly criticizing, complaining, and condemning we will get the fruit of those things in return. But if we will believe what the Bible says and use God’s words even in the face of storms and trials, we will reap a godly harvest.

 My thoughtless comments 
I have more instances than I care to remember where I have used words in the wrong way. A cynical comment in reply to my husband, impatient outbursts toward the children, or sassy retorts targeted at drivers or sales people all add up to deposits in the negative bank. 

One of my most recent faux pas happened during a trip with a church group. After our scenic tour of the mountains we stopped to eat at a local restaurant. At the end of our meal I chose a dessert, but when it was served it wasn’t what I had ordered. I let the waitress know in my “how dare you bring this to me” voice that it was wrong. It was such an unimportant thing that I let become something that hurt someone and especially hurt the image of the Christ who died for me. I know God forgave me, but I left behind some words I couldn’t take back. 

Conversation seasoning
How do we obey Colossians 4:6 with good seasoned conversation? 

Thinking—Philippians 4:8 tells us, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are
The words we speak matter.
lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.”
Our speech will reflect what has been going on in our minds.

Preparation—2 Timothy 4:2 tells us to preach the word and be ready in season and out of season. If God is our focus, His words are what we will speak.

Discipline—James 4:6 says our tongue can defile our body. Controlling our speech requires discipline, but if restraint is our goal we have completed the first step. It will take practice, but if we will start small by thinking before we open our mouths, we are on the road to successfully keeping our tongue under wraps. 

 When a sponge is dipped into liquid the material soaks up whatever it has been exposed to. You can’t suck up dirty water and squeeze out clean. You get whatever went in. We are sponges in our environment. If we constantly expose our minds to negative thinking, doubt, and violence, we cannot expect love, mercy, and compassion to come out when we are squeezed by circumstances. 

Wars have been started because of words. Peace has been accomplished through the spoken or written word. History has been altered because of rash, impulsive comments and treaties signed when control was exerted. This quote by Roy Williams says it all, “Words start wars and end them, create love and choke it, bring us to laughter and joy and tears. Words cause men and women to willingly risk their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Our world, as we know it, revolves on the power of words.” 

Our words should match God's Word.
Speak over yourself--Not only do we need to watch our words to others, we need to speak positively over ourselves. Constantly hearing our own mouth put ourselves down poisons our soul and our image of ourselves suffers. We start to doubt God’s power in our lives. Recording verses which use the phrase “in him” or “through Him” and meditating on these promises give us the image God has about us. We need to agree with His Word concerning our inheritance. When the promises are ingrained into our soul our behavior will reflect our beliefs and will spill over into relationships. We are less likely to have thoughtless outbursts about others, situations, or ourselves. 

Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). If our hearts are right, our mouths will be too.

What are some ways words have affected your life? 

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