weWe are all familiar with the old cliche, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." This is one of the most irresponsible and nonfactual phrases we could train ourselves or our children to believe. Our words matter! Proverbs 18:21 teaches us that the power of life and death are within the tongue. In other words we have the ability to speak life or death, strength or weakness, praise or complaint, into the lives of others.
The things that we say to people are embedded into their spirit, whether it be conscious or unconscious words we are told stay with us and either haunt us or become a blessing to us! We can all relate to this if we think back over our lives. There have been times where people have spoken death over our dreams whether by accident or on purpose. Their words held power. They either pushed you toward your goals or they pushed you further away in despair of thinking that you were not capable.
James describes the tongue as a small fire that has the ability to sets an entire forest on fire. One word can change the entire atmosphere! When we enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise we have the power to influence others to have the same attitude of worship! On the the other hand if we enter His gates with ungrateful hearts and complaints then we set the mood for an awful gathering where worship is absent altogether!
My number one problem when I speak is that I fail to think first. Ashamedly, I must admit there are many times when I have allowed my tongue to outrun my brain! Many mornings while driving to work or before I take the pulpit to deliver a sermon or conduct some type of meeting I pray that the Lord would help direct my words, help them to be clear and administered with love and kindness, because our words do matter!
How we speak to our children matters. How we talk to our spouses matter. How we talk to our brothers and sisters in Christ matter, and how we pray to God matter! Every word we speak matters!
"But I tell you every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of Judgment." (NASB)