Our speech and how we use our words is the second most covered topic in the book of Proverbs. Let's dive into four proverbs that bring light to the power and effect our words can have on the relationships in our life.
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
Our words have the power to build people up and give them life or tear people down and bring them death. The words we speak can inspire and encourage others while, in the same sentence, deflate and discourage.
The harsh reality can be found in NBC contributor, Dr. Michele Borba's research, which states that kids hear 18 negative statements for every one positive. Or 65% of Americans reported receiving no recognition for good work in the past year. This is not how God has designed us to communicate.
But words can also, and should also, bring life. How many of us can recall the words someone spoke that pushed us past something we were dealing with, encouraged us, sparked creativity, or gave us confidence?
Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon is someone who lies to a friend and then says, I was only joking.
Think With Your Mouth Closed.
When you speak a word, you can't make it as if that word were never said. You can't take it back.
Not every thought needs to be said. Sometimes saying nothing is so much better than saying something that chips away at the life of a relationship.
Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket.
If You Think It, And It's Positive, Say It.
Proverbs talks multiple times about the timing of our words. In this verse, Solomon is saying that the right thing said at the right time can provide people with nourishment.
How often do we have a positive thought about someone - something we're grateful for, something we noticed, something we're proud of, and we think it, but we never say it?
If you think it, and it's positive, say it. Text it, write it, speak it, make the call.
Don't keep encouragement locked up in your head. Don't starve the people around you of life-giving words.
Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can break bones.
The Right Thing Said In The Wrong Way Makes It The Wrong Thing.
Solomon is saying that sometimes the key is what we say is how we say it. The tone of our words can sometimes be as or more important than the words we say!
Our tone determines whether your words end up giving someone life or robbing them of it.
We must remember to be mindful of how we say what you say and take responsibility for making our words hearable.
In Luke 6:45, Jesus says, "out of your heart, your mouth speaks."
God offers us incredible wisdom for living a remarkable life. But at the end of the day, God's not after just cleaning up our speech. He wants to change our hearts. He wants us to be people who wish to bring life-giving words, not feel they have to.
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