Words Can Make Or Break Us

We are living in scandalous times. With our modern press listening to the words of prominent people, any verbal mistake can be emphasized and used against them. Several politicians and well-known celebrities have recently experienced downfalls over their words.

In the Bible we can read of the fall of the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar. God heard him elevate himself as if he were some sort of deity, and quickly brought him down (Dan.4:30-31). The Judean king Manasseh, removed by God for his royal crimes, repented in prison and expressed words of sorrow. God heard and elevated him back into power (2 Chron.33:10-13). Our words can bless us and everyone around us or cause us to fall and be ruined.

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Christians have a special responsibility to be careful with the words we allow to come out of our mouths. We represent Jesus Christ in this world, and we must be pure. Ephesians 4:29 directs us to “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.”  The Greek literally censures “rotten words.” It’s common to hear trashy talk in our society, but it should never come from a Christian. Don’t let it even proceed from your mouth. Rather, people should hear things that are edifying, appropriate for the need of the moment. This implies consideration and thought. We ask ourselves, “what does this person need to hear from me right now?” Then we try to provide it.

Through our words we offer “grace to those who hear.” Grace is something we don’t work for nor do we deserve. It’s a gift. Perhaps the people we speak to don’t deserve edifying words from us, but they need to hear it anyway. Isn’t that what Jesus practiced when He was in the world?

We all have trouble with our tongues, but Jesus gives us an important goal. Don’t let your words ruin you. Let them be a blessing.

– Tim Johnson