The Power of Our Words
Bible passage: James 3:5-12
Focus verse: Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. Colossians 4:6 NKJV
My husband and I argued recently, cutting each other’s hearts with sharp words. He accused me of moving his tool–again. After repeatedly hearing such accusations of doing something I didn’t do, I felt irritated, so I defended my actions. He took a verbal jab at me to win the battle, so I shot back with an assault that dealt a low blow. I suddenly realized my huge mistake as he winced. I’d learned how to negotiate through arguments to work for a solution with my First Blessing, yet I resorted to trying to win a fight. Why? My response was even worse than his. I knew better than to do that. How can I tell him, “I love you,” and mean it after verbally attacking him? After a moment of reflection, I came back to apologize for hurting him. I also resolved to work toward a solution. He apologized for blaming me for his missing tools, which he admitted misplacing, and determined to ask if I had seen them. The power of my words really showed that day.
God’s Word tells us that our words are far more powerful than we realize. Our words have the power to tear people down or build them up. It’s hard to do sometimes when we are furious, feeling wounded by the other person’s words. Yet, both hurtful and gracious words should not come from the same mouth as Christ-followers. One destroys while the other brings life. Therefore, our relationships flourish when our responses are gracious and helpful to those we answer.
Once toxic words flow out of our mouths, we can’t take them back. They can destroy relationships by wounding people. No one wins. But when we share the truth with Christ’s love, everyone wins. So when you find yourself in the heat of an argument or tense discussion, ask yourself, “Will my words build up this person? Will they be kind yet truthful? Will they build bridges or burn them?” Then, when you choose your words carefully, reflect gracious truth in your conversations, and watch your relationships thrive.
Prayer: Lord, help me choose my words carefully. Let them be gracious and helpful to build up the people in our discussions. Give me Your ears to hear what someone means rather than react to what I believe I hear. Thank you for the relationships you have given me. May I love them with Your heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.