Our words matter; I’ve seen this over and over with my co-workers, my friends and family, and most recently with my 7 year-old son. The other day I was telling someone how much my son loves basketball. Actually, I was bragging about how good he is, because that’s what dads do-they brag about their children with their chests stuck out like proud male peacocks. I was totally unaware of the fact that my son was standing next to me while I was talking about him.
Later that day he told me, “Dad, I really like it when you tell other people good things about me…it makes me feel good. I’m proud to be your son!”
Boy, did that ever strike a chord in my heart! I got more emotional than a pregnant woman reading a Nicholas Sparks novel. In that moment I was reminded of the tremendous weight that my words carry. Words matter more than we could ever possibly imagine. They have the ability to build-up or destroy. Words are the most powerful weapon on the planet, as well as the most powerful agent of peace known to mankind.
I wish that every time I opened my mouth it was for encouragement…but it’s not. Sometimes my words are negative and critical, and produce unintended destruction like a raging forest fire, as described in James 3:5-6, “In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.”
Here’s the prayer that I often start my day off with, “Lord, please help me not to say anything stupid today. Help me not to say anything that I may regret. Help my words to build-up others instead of tearing them down. -Ame Whenever I fail to make this prayer part of my morning time with God, I wind up spending a lot more time in confession the next day…because words matter.