The power of our words, if you have been following this series at all, determines the results in how we talk to God and to people–either positively or negatively. In this last article, we will see from scripture how the words we speak can be beneficial to others, which is one of many ways we can show love to others and obey God's 2nd greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-40).
Much of the reason why our words can have such inescapable results with people is NOT because of a magical power within ourselves as we release words from our lips. It is because of how other people react to our words. It is because of human nature and how we relate to each other as imperfect beings.
When we speak rudely to people or in the wrong tone of voice, it hurts people–resulting in depression, stress, frustration, anger, and/or retaliation. When we speak nicely to people, the power of our words can bring healing, encouragement, and reconciliation. When we speak, we should always be thinking of how it will benefit others instead of hurt them.
Speak to heal
There is one who speaks rashly, like a piercing sword; but the tongue of the wise brings healing. – Proverbs 12:18, HCSB
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. – Proverbs 16:24, NKJV
We do not have to think of these verses in terms of miraculous healing. Choosing our words wisely and speaking pleasantly to those we come in contact with (instead of using words that hurt like a sword) bring a natural emotional/mental healing to people. When we feel good about ourselves, we also stay healthier physically.
Speak to encourage
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up. – Proverbs 12:25, HCSB
A word spoken at the right time is like gold apples on a silver tray. – Proverbs 25:11, HCSB
When someone is feeling down, say something to cheer them up. Say words to encourage them that things will get better. We all need a boost sometimes. And having a reason to climb out of depression and anxiety can really be as good as finding gold.
Speak to keep the peace
A gentle answer turns away anger. – Proverbs 15:1a, HCSB
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. …Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you. – Ephesians 4:29,31, NKJV
We all get ourselves in trouble with others. We can escalate the tension between us and the other person or try to keep the peace. We can try to win an argument or reconcile with the individual. When we speak gently to a person we are arguing with–or even someone who is mad at us for no reason whatsoever–it tends to settle them down. We are proud people and it can be natural for us to want to be angry, bitter, and speak badly to others. But that's not God's way. It's not God's will for us. He wants us to keep the peace. He wants us to speak words to build people up even when they don't deserve it. That's how we show others the same grace as God has shown to us through His Son Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:4-8).
Thank you for following this series about the impact our words has on God and others. You can read this set of articles from the beginning by clicking here: The inescapable power of words, Introduction