Edward Bulwer-Lytton was spot-on when he said:
The pen [words] are mightier than the sword.
There is so much ink used in Scripture to instruct us about the words we speak.
Why do you suppose that is?
Word have the power to build up. Encourage. Empower. Inspire. Bless.
They can also destroy. Wound. Devastate. Rob someone of dignity. Kill the soul and spirit.
Our words can change the course of someone’s life–for good or evil.
Think about it.
Think about the role words have played in your life. How they’ve encouraged you to keep moving forward as you strive to achieve the dreams God has planted in your heart. How they exposed your old-nature and challenged you to change for the better. How they introduced you to Jesus and helped you develop a deep personal relationship with Him.
Now think of the times words stopped you in your tracks. Created wounds so deep they have yet to heal. Or robbed your of your ambition, dreams, self-esteem, or self-worth.
My dear friend, our words matter! They can infuse life and vitality or crush someone’s soul.
Here are 15 verses for us to meditate on as we consider the importance of our words…
Psalms 19:12-14, NLT
How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord , my rock and my redeemer.
Matthew 12:33-37, NLT
“A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”
Colossians 3:8-11, NLT
But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
Colossians 3:16-17, NLT
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Proverbs 16:24, NLT
Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
Proverbs 25:11, ESV
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
Proverbs 29:20, NLT
There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks without thinking.
Proverbs 12:18, ESV
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Ecclesiastes 10:12-14, NLT
Wise words bring approval, but fools are destroyed by their own words. Fools base their thoughts on foolish assumptions, so their conclusions will be wicked madness; they chatter on and on. No one really knows what is going to happen; no one can predict the future.
2 Timothy 2:14-17a, NLT
‘Remind everyone about these things, and command them in God’s presence to stop fighting over words. Such arguments are useless, and they can ruin those who hear them. Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior. This kind of talk spreads like cancer.
James 3:1-12, NLT
Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.
Proverbs 15:1-4, NLT
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing, but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness. The Lord is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good. Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
Proverbs 13:2-3, NLT
Wise words will win you a good meal, but treacherous people have an appetite for violence. Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.
Proverbs 21:23, NLT
Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.
John 6:68, NLT
Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.
And a bonus one
John 8:31-32, ESV
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
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