The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. Proverbs 18:21 NLT
All Christians know that we must be careful how we speak. That’s why most of us work very hard not to cuss.
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29 NLT
Our words are powerful.
The words we speak don’t just represent us, but can represent God.
What we say can be a light to someone suffering in darkness.
“No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.” Luke 11:33 NLT
Our words can speak light and life into someone’s life. Just encouragement can represent our Lord, and who knows, may even answer someone’s prayers?!
As Christians, we should never stop speaking kindness, encouragement, and life into those around us.
Our words can also bring forth pain, destruction, and even death.
There are two things we speak of which God lists as sin, right along with sexual immorality and murder, and those are LYING and SLANDER.
“Don’t you understand yet?” Jesus asked. “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. But the words you speak come from the heart–that’s what defiles you. From the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.” Matthew 15:16-20 NLT
Not even cussing is labeled by Jesus as a sin, but most Christians are so focused on that they don’t stop themselves from gossiping.
Gossip often spreads through the halls of churches, homes, and social media like the spirit of death moved through Egypt.
This is filthy, and we must never forget how seriously God takes it.
Lying about someone, slandering someone, Jesus said that these sins defile our souls…
To be safe, should we silence ourselves?
Should we self-censor and put our light under a bowl?
If gossiping, lying and slander are sins we struggle with, we must lay it at the foot of the cross, and ask God to cleanse it from our hearts.
True repentance isn’t just saying sorry to God by confession, it is also turning away from the sin by renouncing it.
Our words are important to God.
So is our silence.
Proverbs 17:26-27 tells us:
A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even tempered. Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.
Wisdom speaks that we must be selective with our words.
I know my mouth has gotten me in trouble at times. Though they are not a sin like lying or slander, foolish words are still dangerous.
God warns us of these things for our own benefit.
Yet, there is a balancing act.
For we are not to lie about our convictions, nor renounce our faith to appease the world.
We are not to say what’s wrong is right, or what’s right is wrong, either.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Isaiah 5:20 NIV
We’re not supposed to pander with our words…
Silence is wise, but if you see something good, say it!
If you see something is bad, don’t agree with it.
What we speak counts more than we realize.
We must value our words, and be generous with encouragement.
those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25 NLT
Refresh, encourage, esteem, and love with your words.
The world needs this light, more than you know.