Enjoying the Journey
Words are powerful things. Spoken, written, typed, or texted – they are vehicles of communication that tend to last. If not on paper, in the hearts and minds of others.
With our words we build up, and with our words we tear down. Solomon declared, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). James said that with the same tongue we “bless” and “curse” (James 3:19-20).
Many a marriage bears the wounds of a word that never should have been spoken. Children carry the powerful words of their parents with them their entire life. Churches are often divided, fellow children of God alienated from one another, because of senseless words.
There are three things I have begun to pray regularly concerning my words. Would you join me in this prayer?
- Lord, may my words be guarded.
Now, I would like to think that I could guard my own words, but I cannot trust my emotions to do that. David prayed, “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3). I need God to guard my words!
The only one powerful enough to guard my words is the Holy Spirit. When I am under His control my words are not fleshly and foolish. The secret is not found in restraining my words but in yielding to the Spirit of God. He will set a watch at my lips.
- Lord, may my words be guided.
It is said of the prophet Samuel that the Lord did not let any of his words fall to the ground (1 Samuel 3:19). Because his words came from God they went directly to their target! They went to the heart.
We should pray that every day God will give us the right words to speak to each person we meet. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Proverbs 25:11). ” A word spoken in due season, how good is it!” (Proverbs 15:23).
“A word” – one word – guided by God is more powerful and helpful than a hundred words spoken without Him. Ask the Lord to make you His mouthpiece today!
- Lord, may my words be grace filled.
In the end, this is the way to have guarded and guided conversations: let all of your words be filled with grace.
“Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6).
This verse implies that grace filled words are most needed (and perhaps most difficult) when we are responding to the words of others. It is so easy to react with words that are not gracious! Homes and hearts are hurt when we speak angry and unkind words.
In Ephesians 4, the same chapter that teaches we are to speak the truth in love, we read these words,
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you (Ephesians 4:29-32).
Others need God’s grace. And we need God’s grace to speak to them.
The sign of Spirit fulness is not that you speak in other tongues; it is that the Spirit controls your tongue! The worst thing about our words is not what they do to us or even to others, but, rather, what they do to God. Our words grieve the sweet Holy Spirit of grace.
Many years ago a dear friend said to me, “Scott, if you want God to take his hand of blessing off of your life, speak critical and hurtful words against other of His servants.” How many times I have opened my mouth to say something and the Holy Spirit has brought those words to my mind!
Words are powerful things. They live on in the divine record. We will meet them someday! May God help us to remember that today…