This morning I was taught a lesson about the words I say, from the sermon at church. I hope my pastor doesn’t mind that I often blog about his sermons. Here’s some of my notes from the sermon, with a few of my own thoughts thrown in there 🙂
“Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you.” I think that is a lie. I can’t tell you how many times I heard that while I was growing up. But it’s not true. Words can hurt more than any physical pain because the damage of words can’t be healed as quickly and easily as physical injuries.
Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
The Power of Words
Our words have the power to hurt people or heal them, it depends on how we use them. Our words don’t have to be eloquent or Shakespearian, they just need to be honest and loving.
Proverbs 12:18 – There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Words have the power to break a heart and inflict an unspeakable amount of damage, but words, if used wisely, also have the power to heal the most shattered of lives. Words can be used like a machete, leaving a mess of destruction in their path or like a scalpel, being used to specifically and precisely heal wounds.
Proverbs 27:6 – Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy
Proverbs 12:25 – Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
Many of us fall in to one of two categories when it comes to the nature of our speech. We speak the truth, not paying attention to how we come across, the effect our words have on people, or without love and kindness. Or, we speak with kindness, trying to show love and protect those we are speaking to, but never really speaking the truth (this is the category I fall in to). But the problem is, we need to speak with truth and kindness in our words.
Our words should be direct, but also gentle.
Proverbs 15:1 – A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Words have a unique kind of power that can increase the intensity of a situation or they can have the power to calm and restore order to disorder and chaos. How will you choose to use your words?
Proverbs 10:11 – The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
The Beauty of Words
Proverbs 24:26 – Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips.
I like the imagery portrayed in this verse. There’s a certain type beauty that is seen/felt in a kiss that is nearly impossible to explain. I mean, sure, you can explain about how a kiss happens, but in that explanation, the beauty of a kiss seems to get lost. So it also is with honesty – the beauty of honesty is hard to explain, but once you’ve seen/felt the beauty of it, you’ll never forget it.
Proverbs 25:11 – A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver
We need to be thoughtful about the words we speak and chose our words carefully. Using the “right words” doesn’t mean that they have to be big $10 words that make you sound like you are the most educated person on earth; the right words and words that are spoken with truth and kindness.
The Source of Words
Proverbs 15:28 – The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
Do you think before you speak? I know I REALLY struggle with that. I have a huge problem just saying the first thing that pops into my mouth without thinking about the consequences of the things I say. Just because we think/feel something, doesn’t necessarily mean we have to say it. I don’t think most of us would ever intentionally speak words to wound the people we love, but we all do it – too often I think, because we don’t think about our words before we speak them.
Proverbs 4:23 – Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
The righteous man who’s guarding his heart recognizes that he is sinful to the core, and that all the things that originate in his heart don’t need to be spoken. (I wish I had taken more notes during the sermon about this section.)
When we consider the words we use, we need to think, do we really understand The Word?
John 1:1-3 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
Do we understand that Jesus came to the earth speaking the truth with kindness in his words? He spoke the truth of God, grace, love, and hope. He spoke those words with gentleness and kindness because He loves us more than we can ever imagine. Glorious!