We live in a world in which words are thrown around so carelessly that it almost seems like someone somewhere is always getting offended or hurt in some way. The Bible says that the tongue is a small member of the body but that it is impossible to tame (James 3:8). The Bible also says that the tongue can defile the whole body (James 3:6). Our words can either build up or destroy and that is up to us. But is it really up to us? You see when a person becomes born-again he/she should realize the importance that God places upon words and after all obedience is the heart of Christianity. Jesus said “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment (Matthew 12:36).
Jesus said that his words are spirit and life! (John 6:63). He also said that man cannot live on bread alone but every word that comes forth from God (Matthew 4:4). Are you starting to get the picture of how important our words actually are in this life? The devil also knows the significance of words and that is why he accuses the brethren day and night (1st Timothy 4:13). In the Garden of Eden the devil (serpent) spoke words that produced a seed thought of disobedience which tempted eve to eat the forbidden fruit (And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die. For God doth know, that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened: and ye shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:5). There you have it! Words are powerful! Especially when believed and acted upon!
But words can also heal, bring joy and comfort! Words can bring life or death (Proverbs 18:21) We are to build each other up in our most holy faith (Jude 1:20, 1st Thessalonians 5:11). Jesus constantly spoke words that brought peace and joy but he also righteously judged actions and situations. Jesus is God and so he has the right to judge unrighteousness. When we become trained by the spirit of God through his word we too can judge sin but not the sinner. But most importantly we need to be speaking words of gentleness and kindness. The Bible says that the whole world will know that we are his disciples by the love that we show for one another (John 13:34-35). Doesn’t it almost seem like common sense though to speak loving things? When people say hurtful words they can damage our self-esteem and well-being. This world is filled with people that have experienced cruel words in their childhoods and have had their lives impacted tremendously. On the other hand there are parents that have raised their children in love and kind words and as a result their children often reap wonderful benefits from it.
The book of James is great to mediate upon when it comes to words (Chapter 3). Some people actually think words are harmless but let’s get real! God actually spoke the world into existence! And Jesus is the word manifested among us (the word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14, John 1:1).
If you want to become a powerful, obedient Christian then it is essential to understand and apply godly speaking to your daily life. It is also crucial to remember that it is actually God whom empowers us to do this (he speaks through us). Jesus said that we are to abide in his word and his word is to abide in us this will mean that we are his disciples (John 8:31).
The next time you are tempted to speak out in anger please stop and wait on God! He will give you godly words or sometimes you may even have to be silent or walk away. There is a time and season for everything and each situation is unique requiring specific action. Do you recall how quiet Jesus was prior to his crucifixion? And he entered into the Praetorian again and said to Jesus, "Where are you from?" But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to Him, "You do not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you, and I have authority to crucify you?" Jesus answered, "You would have no authority over me, unless it had been given you from above (John 19:9-11). The Bible says that Jesus was led like a lamb to the slaughter (a lamb is silent when being led to the slaughter) He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7).
May this article be a blessing and perhaps an eye opener, God loves you friends! He is love! So please let your moderation (gentleness) be known towards all men (Phil 4:5).
By Gordon E. Dawe