“The words of the Godly are a life giving fountain ; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions. Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offences. Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding, but those lacking sense will be beaten with a rod. Wise people treasure knowledge, but the babbling of a fool invites disaster.” Proverbs 10:11-14
I can remember as a kid chanting the little rhyme, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Something we said to counter what others were saying about us. Oh how untrue that little rhyme is, words are powerful. They can hurt and often it takes a lot longer to heal from hurtful words that from any physical wounds.
I’ve been hurt by words of others and I’ve used my own words to hurt others. Often, it’s unintentional, but nevertheless, it hurts. Words spoken in anger or out of one’s own pain or crummy circumstances can damage and destroy relationships. They can create a chasm so large that only the supernatural healing power of Christ can bridge the divide.
We are seeing this very thing today all over. It’s in our families, our communities, our friendships, it’s all over social media, all over TV and in the news. People are using their words to cause division, destroy relationship, invoke anger and cause others to hurt. Some of it is unintentional, and sadly, there is a lot of intentionality in the words being said. And to top it all off, much of what is being said is being misinterpreted, misunderstood and some are speaking before they think, and it all comes out wrong.
It’s also true that my words can bring healing, comfort and draw people together. But, I have to use wisdom. I must think before I speak and pray before I post. Is what I am about to say or post going to be misunderstood? Is it going to cause people to become defensive and argumentative? I have to be responsible with my words. I am a representative of the Body of Christ and my words must reflect His love and grace!
Lord, I pray today over my words. I pray they are a “life giving fountain.” I pray that I will speak words of love and grace that will heal offense. I pray my words would come from a deep understanding of your Word. And help me know when “to be sensible and keep my mouth shut!” (v.19) Amen.
What is God speaking to you today? Share in the comments below or join the conversation on our Journaling Through Proverbs Facebook Group.