The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them. (Proverbs 12:6 NIV)
Evildoers are trapped by their sinful talk, and so the innocent escape trouble. From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, and the work of their hands brings them reward. (Proverbs 12:13-14 NIV)
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. (Proverbs 12:18-20 NIV)
The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy. The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly. (Proverbs 12:22-23 NIV)
Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. (Proverbs 12:25 NIV)
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. We know this isn’t true and I hope no one is teaching this to children anymore. Words have the power to hurt and the power to heal. We often attempt to use words to disguise who we are, and Solomon tells us we’re wasting our words. Our words reveal our character.
In an Andy Stanley message on marriage, he had two large cups filled with beads. I think the blue beads were good things and the red beads were bad things. When he bumped the cups together there were some red beads that came out. They had to because they were in the cup. If your heart is full of negative thoughts about someone, those thoughts are going to come out in words when you are bumped.
What do we say? Phil Ware has written a helpful article that can be found here to help us with what to speak in a time when words are everywhere and many seem to be hurting more than helping.
I do know that it is important to speak. I often have a disconnect between my brain and my tongue. This is very frustrating for my wife when we’re working on a project together and I need her assistance. I know she can’t read my mind, but I’m so unsure of what I’m doing that the words in my head never make it out of my mouth.
At other times I say too much. Too many words obscure the message I want to send. It is easy to string many words together and say nothing. It is much more difficult to find a few words that clearly express an idea. One of the things my wife challenges me with every time I teach is putting my main idea into a short phrase that can be understood by a third grader. This is never easy, but always worth the effort. When successful I have a much clearer idea of what I want to say with the many words that will make up the teaching.
That is really what the words for my grandchildren at the end of each blog are about.
For my grandchildren:
Love others by speaking words that help and encourage.