WORDS DO MATTER! Life is not all about physical activity. We are known by what we say as well as what we do. Proverbs chapter 15 (NIV) is full of advice on this topic. God’s Word says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath” (verse 1), “The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge.” (v2), “The soothing tongue is a tree of life. (v4) By our words we can make people angry or we can help bring peace to an intense situation. The choice is ours. As a Pastor I know sometimes we can unintentionally add fuel to the fire by choosing the wrong word or being misunderstood. But whenever possible each of us should work to use our words to heal and help rather than to intensify anger. And sometimes people may misquote you or the Pastor or someone else and cause someone else to become angry with you or their words may inflame others as well. Our news media today has become very adept at producing anger through their intentional misquoting of what people say. Let us not be like that; let us weight our words carefully.
As we grow in our relationship with Jesus we begin to realize how important it is that we become wise in the use of what we learn and say as Christians. God’s Word says, “The lips of the wise spread knowledge.” (v.7) “The discerning heart seeks knowledge.” (v.14) “A person finds joy in giving an apt reply and how good is a timely word!” (v.23) Our growth in our Christian life should equip us to use our words more effectively to help others in their knowledge of God and also to have the right words to use in a timely matter in most situations of life. You can use the words of the bible to “kill” or “hurt” people or you can use the same words from the bible to effectively minister to the needs of someone who needs Jesus and His healing. Most of the time this depends on your grasp of biblical knowledge, spiritual discernment, and a “timely word.” As God’s Words says, “The heart of the righteous weighs its answers.” (v.28)
“Think before you speak” the old adage goes. May I suggest that in some, if not all situations, we should just simply pray before we speak. As God’s Word says, “He hears the prayer of the righteous.” (v.29) Often people put their mouth in motion before their brain kicks in. May God help us not to be that person. Let our words be few and healing and let us “be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce righteousness that God desires.” (James 1:19-20)