Of course not. You are a responsible person who would never do something so dangerous as to drive recklessly. After all, cars can be as deadly as a weapon..in the wrong hands, or when misused even by well-meaning people. Like most of us, you wouldn’t drive recklessly on purpose. However, there is another weapon in your arsenal that you may not realize you are using to deadly effect…..your mouth. Think those are strong words? Witness this verse from Proverbs,
Reckless words pierce like a sword...Proverbs 12:18
Wow! A sword! Jesus said those who live by the sword would die by the sword. It is a deadly weapon. Why is something so deadly compared to the words we speak? Because nothing less than life and death are in the power of the tongue, and the words we speak are therefore either life-giving, or life-taking.
How have your words been, lately? Are you building up those around you, or tearing down?
Read a few more verses about this:
Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin. Pro.10: 14
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. Pro.10:19
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value. Pro.10:20
He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin. Pro.13:3
If gossip or hurting remarks come from you more often than you’d like to admit, you need to cover this area of your life in prayer. But the good side of the coin is that right words can bring blessing as much as wrong ones can do harm. If you have been made righteous in Christ, God can use your words to build up and nourish those around you–and it guards your own life, as well!
So watch what you say this week. You know your tendencies. Let’s look at the verse in its entirety:
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Pro.12:18
Got a relationship that needs healing? Pray for wisdom and the chance to speak to that person.
Do you need healing? Pay attention to your “self-speak.” Sometimes we are kinder to other people than to ourselves. I noticed years ago that I could make my children feel better when they got upset, but I could never do it for myself. I finally learned to speak to MYSELF (in my head) the way I would speak if it was one of my children needing comfort. You might say I became my own mother. You could also say, I learned to exercise the tongue of the wise, as in the following verses:
The speech of the upright rescues them. Pro.12:6b
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.. Pro.10:11
The lips of the righteous nourish many… Pro.10:21
I learned to nourish myself with the words I spoke to myself! It may sound silly or obvious to some, but if it doesn’t come naturally for you to be really kind to yourself, it can be life-changing.
Is your life full of good things today? Amazingly, the way you speak might have something to do with how you answered that question. Read this next verse aloud and listen to what it says:
From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things/ as surely as the work of his hands rewards him. Pro.12:14 How we speak can affect our lives as much as the kind of work we do, and our paycheck! Have you been blaming someone, perhaps your husband, for not providing better? It may be that some of the “money leaks” start closer to home than you thought–right in your mouth! If this seems preposterous to you, start watching for “leaks,” and how they happen.
Speak contentment. Speak gratitude. And soon you’ll have so much to be thankful for you’ll wonder why you ever complained to begin with. There’s so much at stake when it comes to how we speak–to ourselves and others–that it’s hard to write a short devotion about it, actually. Suffice it to SAY that every word you speak matters. Here’s a prayer to get your day off with some good ones (words).
I pray God, that You guard the door of my lips today and give me wisdom to speak good words when they are called for; healing words when needed; and that I will not “drive” recklessly with my speech, even for a second! Thank you, God, for the power of the tongue–that I can bring good into my life and the lives of my loved ones by speaking with gratitude and contentment. Your eternal plans far exceed our momentary trials and discomforts, and so I thank you right now for Your Good Plans for me! I will speak of your goodness today! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.