The power of words


“With lots of words comes wrongdoing, but the wise restrain their lips.” ~Proverbs 10:19 (CEB)

Words are powerful. Because our words carry so much power, it is important that we learn to say only what is essential. Benjamin Franklin said, “He that would live in peace and at ease must not speak all he knows or sees.” Oh, that I could learn this lesson… when to keep my mouth shut! Once the words are out there you can’t take it back. You can apologize for things that you have said, but you can never retrieve them.

Something my mother always told us growing up was, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” This is good advice! We should restrain our lips from negative speech, gossip, sarcasm, insincere flattery, coarse jesting, or being funny in a rude way. Instead, we should use our mouth to encourage others, looking for and finding the good qualities in people, choosing to speak well of those around us.

This positive speaking of others also helps to adjust our attitude towards those we come in contact with frequently. What our mouth speaks our heart soon believes. If I can speak positively about someone I deal with daily, my attitude towards that person can improve even if they are not my favorite person to deal with!

Guard my words O Lord, may they reflect your love to the world around me. Help me to remember that sometimes silence is wiser than anything I might choose to say. Amen.

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