I think a lot about words!
Of course, I do. I’m a writer and as I said earlier this week … a talker. But it’s more than that…
Words of affirmation are my love language. Positive words fill my love tank and yes, negative words have the opposite effect.
Although not everyone feels the impact of words to the same degree I do; words are making and breaking relationships every single day.
Because … how we use words matters!
So much so that the Bible says:
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.Proverbs 18:21
Life or death! And if not physical life or death, relationships in our homes, workplaces, neighborhoods, and churches are having life breathed into them or sucked out of them based on the words people use.
Every day you and I are living out the consequences of our own or someone else’s words.
I know it’s true because I live out the consequences of my own words way more often than I’d like.
I mean, I try. Really I do. But something I’m well aware of … I can’t control my words on my own. Without the Lord’s help, my less than ideal attitudes get in the way and keep me from consistently speaking the “life” words God wants.
So, I’m turning to God in prayer … asking Him to forgive my past, guide my future and help me choose my words in light of His grace that I might breathe life into my relationships and give Him glory.
Verses to Pray Before You Speak Out
“If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.”1 Peter 3:10–11
Father, forgive me. It’s so hard for me to faithfully and consistently control what I say. I can be quick to complain and lash out in anger. The world tells me lying is normal. Everyone does it. Everyone bends the truth to make life easier, don’t they? But Your Word clearly tells me to speak the truth in love and avoid using my words to speak evil . . . even if I’m repeating something spoken by someone else. Help me! I want to search for peace. I want to make every effort to maintain peace. Lord, I want to be someone You can use for peace.
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.Proverbs 15:1,4
Lord, Give me the self-control I need to choose my words carefully when I’m angry. Help me speak with words that work toward unity and understanding. Words that breathe life into my relationships. May I remember that people make assumptions about You based on the way Your children speak and act. Please forgive me for the times my words have been hurtful and with Your help, I will forgive those whose words have hurt me. Fill me so full of Your love that it overflows to the people around me.
Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and He will grant you His blessing.1 Peter 3:9
Father, this is so hard. It feels justifiable to fight back and defend hurtful insulting words. It’s just the world’s way, isn’t it? But Your Word tells me to offer a blessing … to respond to cruelty with kindness. It also tells me this is the way to Your blessings and my happiness. I want that. Help me, Father. Help us all through the love of Jesus.
Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.Colossians 4:5–6
Lord, make me winsome for You. My heart’s desire is to show people the greatness of Your love. Give me the words You want me to speak, words that give You glory . . . words that will help people who don’t know You have a desire to learn more about Your amazing grace and unfailing love. May they want to know Jesus.
Take control of what I say, O Lord,Psalm 141:3
and guard my lips.
Lord, make me sensitive to Your Spirit’s guidance. Bless me with wisdom to know when to control my tongue and the strength I need to do it. Help me know when to speak out and put Your hand over my mouth when I need to be still. I surrender my will to Your control and direction.
I will exalt you, my God and King,Psalm 145:4–5
and praise Your name forever and ever.
I will praise You every day;
yes, I will praise You forever.
Father, please help me speak out for Your glory. May praise and worship be on the tip of my tongue. Please help me keep my heart and mind focused on You. Help me take captive every thought that turn my heart and mind to the things that cause me fear or anger. May I remember that You are with me in all circumstances. Thank You, Lord! I will trust You and praise You today and every day forever. By Your all-sufficient grace and for Your glory that lasts forever. Amen.
Before you speak out, remember…
Controlling our words can be the most challenging part of our Jesus following journey. No matter how hard you and I try, we will never come close to controlling our words the way God wants without His help.
But He has promised to help.
He forgives when we fail. He guides us through His Word and by the power of His Spirit. And He even helps us when controlling our words is the last thing we want to do.
Praise God! You and I have a Father who loves us so much, He not only cares about the details of our words but He’s willing to help us for our good and His glory.
He wants to help us speak out in faith and in love!
So, before you speak out … PRAY!
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And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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