We speak about 15,000 words every day and will always fall short of God’s standards along the way!
It is inevitable that we will slip somewhere in the normal conversational flow of life. Rarely intentional, the offenders just tumble out of our mouth without even a thought of being wrong or hurtful. It’s a fact that we must own—our words have the potential to deeply injure others.
OUR DUAL RESPONSIBILITY
ONE: Of course we need to watch at the gate as our words line up to make their leap into the air. Catching the trouble here before it escapes is the ideal. But just like a border inspection point, some are going to elude capture. That’s why we need to take the next step that follows below.
TWO: We need to continually ask God—day in and day out–for discernment on what we have said that either fell short of the Christ-like standard or hurt someone.
For me, I ask God to remind me each day that my words may be hurtful. To prompt me to humbly take responsibility for what comes out of my mouth. To ask for forgiveness without equivocation or qualification when I slip.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
JESUS IS KEEPING TRACK
Words are incredibly powerful. They can build up, encourage, and motivate. Words can also tear down, hurt, and cause horrible scars.
And, most importantly, words matter to God and he keeps a record of what we say.
“I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak.” Matthew 12:36
The Bible challenges us to use our words to help people, to build others up, not to tear them down. And we should never underestimate the value of an encouraging word.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE HEART
Transforming the tongue begins with a change in the heart. What is in our heart forms the words, in some form or another, that come out of our mouth.
It seems so obvious but we must constantly remind ourselves to think before we speak or the words that tumble out of our mouth will drift further and further away from God’s filter.
MY SECRET WEAPON
Here’s the acrostic I created and use every day to help me consider my words before they are spoken. I built it around the acrostic REVIEW, and ask if my words are:
And don’t forget to ask for God’s help real time, all of the time. He CAN tame our tongue.