I’ve heard my entire life that my words are powerful. They can speak life. They can speak death. They can impart blessing. They can impart cursing. Let’s break that down into easier to understand terms.
They can make someone smile. They can make someone cry. They can give the weakest hope. They can discourage the strongest. They can thrust someone into greatness. They can hinder someone from taking chances. They can heal. They can wound. They can change a life. They can destroy one.
What is it about being mindful of our words is so difficult?
The fact that many of us reserve to speak words that hurt behind the subject’s back reveals that we are unaware that words do, indeed, affect that person. They didn’t hear you. Did they?
I’ll never forget hearing Chris Spradlin, a pastor in Oklahoma, explain that when we speak harmful words about another individual (cleverly called gossip as to make it sound trivial) we leave behind us a path of destruction. Who walks down that path? The one our words just hurt.
I was talking to a good friend the other night, and she shared the path she has been forced to travel down. Hurtful words have not been spoken directly to her. But, she hears them. People will justify their dirty mouth with explanations such as “I’m not gossipin’, I’m just speakin’ the truth.” Puh-leese. As a follower of Christ, it is our greatest responsibility to speak life – ALWAYS.
We have been called to be a light in darkness. We have been called to proclaim God’s grace and His love. I’m afraid that gossip is the antithesis of this call.
Let’s think before we speak. Remember, even the foolish seem wise when they keep their mouths shut.
….Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29