God has really been dealing with my lately on how powerful our words are and the danger of not being able to control what we say. This is one area of my life that I have to work the hardest on. Every since I was young I have had all these wonderful little sarcastic remarks pop into my head. And, every since I was young I have allowed these wonderful little sarcastic remarks to get me into trouble.
James chapter 3 is devoted to this subject. Verses 5-6 states,
“The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
Like bullets fired from a gun, words cannot be taken back or undone. They also may seem small or harmless, but can have devastating consequences. Our ability to control our words will determine the success we have with our children, spouses and even at work.
Jesus said in John 12:49-50
“For I do not speak of myself, but from the Father who sent me and commanded me what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that [to obey] his command is life everlasting. Therefore, whatever I speak is just as the Father tells me to speak.”
This is a novel concept. Jesus, the only perfect human in history, was able to control his tongue. He said that He only said what the Father instructed Him to say. He did not allow himself to speak idle words or let his frustration cause him to say something he would regret. How different would our lives be if we took this approach to our words? How much more peace would you have in your life if you were able to watch your words?
How different would our relationship be with our children if we stopped and asked God how we should respond when our children have us at our wits end? How different would our marriages be if we sought his will before responding to a spouse that just ticked us off?
My oldest son has a memory that is off the charts. He can tell you events that happened years ago, down the tiniest detail. This is great, but it also means that as his father I must take extra precaution with the words I say to him. I must make sure that my words build him up and promote a great self-esteem.
We only have one shot at this life and it is incredibly important to get things right. If we can control our words and spend our time saying things that build up others then we avoid having to go back and repair damage done by our lack of self control.