I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me”. Well, you don’t have to have lived many years in this world to know how utterly false that statement is. Our words matter. And sometimes they can hurt worse than sticks and stones because our words can be powerful. You may have heard another saying that is absolutely true - with great power comes great responsibility. As believers, we have a responsibility to use our words to build up, not to tear down. Paul says in Ephesians 4 verse 29:
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
The book of James has a lot to say about the tongue. He says it is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body - that no human can tame the tongue. But Paul encourage us to make an effort. We need to watch what we say, and how we say it. Unwholesome talk is unbecoming a Christian, but words of encouragement, words that build others up are the type of words that Jesus would speak. So, I encourage you to be careful what you say. If you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything. Being slow to speak is a virtue that can certainly help you in your efforts to speak words that build up, instead of speaking words that you’ll regret saying later.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” I encourage you to heed these words. Don’t use your words as a weapon. And don’t be in a rush to speak, but consider your words carefully. I know it’s not always easy to do, especially if we’re not in tune with the Spirit. But if we are, He can help us speak words that are helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.