Be careful what you say
“Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Whoever wrote those words must have been deaf. Seriously?
I have been on the receiving end of some pretty harsh words in my life time and sometimes…words hurt. We have all been hurt by words at some time in our lives.
In the Book of James (James 3:1-12) he tells us that if our faith is real, we will use our words to do two things: glorify God and lift up others.
Think about this: would our world be a better place if people were careful about the words they spoke? Would our homes be a better place if we would use our words to encourage each other instead of using our words to tear each other down? Would our churches be a better place if we were careful about the things we said to people we worship with?
Someone once shared with me three things I should do before sharing something I heard:
1) Is it true?
2) Would I want it shared about me?
3) Even if it is true, will it hurt the person it is about? Even if something is true, it might not be wise to share it because it might cause someone to be hurt.
James tells us that the tongue is like a fire. It takes about three minutes for a house to be engulfed in flames. In about five minutes all people inside that home would be dead. Many times, our words are used to “kill” people and we don’t even know it.
See, the Bible tells us that when we gossip about someone, it is like assassinating their character. Friendships are destroyed by a careless word. Marriages are burnt up because of an uncontrolled tongue. And many times, churches are destroyed because someone didn’t have anything better to do than bicker, back-bite and gossip.
Our tongue is a very dangerous weapon, maybe that’s why God put it in a cage of ivory and sealed it by the four walls of our mouth. He knew it would be very difficult to tame and that it could do a lot of harm if left uncontrolled. It takes very little effort to sin with the tongue: we can throw darts, fire bullets and drop bombs anywhere and at any time without breaking a sweat. Some of the biggest mistakes we make, as Christians is with our tongue. We’re guilty of speaking too soon.
I have never heard anyone confess their sin of speaking too slowly. Either you control your tongue or your tongue controls you. Our words should bring glory to God, so the next time, before you speak, ask yourself “Will what I have to say honor God and bring glory to Him?”
The six most powerful words in the world are, “I am sorry. Please forgive me?” Maybe you need to forgive someone this week, or ask someone to forgive you. And then remember, God loves you just like you are, but He loves you too much to leave you like that.
Pastor Thad Gifford is lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church of Madison County, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at (740) 852-7800, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at their website www.3c-church.org.