Words…I have been thinking about words ever since I noticed a book my husband is reading entitled Please Sorry Thanks: The Three Words That Changed Everything by Mark Batterson. I wondered why my husband chose to read this book because he says please, sorry and thanks more than anyone I know! My mind wandered to questions like, “How important are words, REALLY? I mean, people use on average, 16,000 words a day. Is every one of those words important? Is every one life-changing? Does every word cause an effect when spoken or written? What does God think about words?” So, I started on a biblical journey about words. 

Now for some personal background on me. I am not sure that I am a typical 16,000 words-a-day girl.  I’m introverted and usually guard my words before speaking them, even in a heated discussion because I do not want to apologize later for saying a wrong or hurtful thing. 

I keep most of the negative, hurtful stuff inside. As I get older, however, I find that more of the thoughts in my head are finding a way to sneak out as words. My husband can attest to the fact that my words might not be bad, but sometimes my tone…well, that’s another story.

Back to the Word. The first verse I read when I embarked on my study was Luke 6:45. It’s long, but hang in there with me. 

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the HEART his mouth speaks.

I was reminded that what comes out of my mouth is reflecting my heart. So there’s really no “I accidentally said that,” or “I didn’t mean that,” or “Just kidding.” There’s no disassociating my words from my heart – not if I’m being honest with myself.

Yikes! I thought I was good because I don’t let the “bad words” come out of my mouth – at least very often. I thought I was noble for not saying the words to hurt someone (even if they deserved it). I have even wished others had more self-control over their words like I do. BUT then another long verse comes along.

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise think on these things (Philippians 4:8, emphasis added).

So maybe I’m not being so noble after all if I think negative words but don’t say them. It’s all connected – our words and our hearts. God has brought me to a season of introspection and inspection as He has me looking at my heart and the stuff He knows is in there.

I am not done studying this subject, but this is what I’ve learned so far:

  1. Pray it before I say it. I’m trying to run my words by God in prayer, asking Him to edit, cut & paste, and temper them before I utter them because words really do matter. It says in Proverbs 18:21, “But there is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Can you picture that? Our words being sword thrusts? Ouch! That’s pretty graphic, but I think I may have thrust some swords in my lifetime! Lord, please forgive me.
  2. Redirect my thoughts. Focus on the list in Philippians 4:8 so that my words will be more godly, helpful, encouraging, and loving. Not only will I need to make fewer apologies, but I will NOT have a loop of negativity going on and on in my head. 
  3. Accept the fact that these two things are really hard! You know what? We can do hard things! You and I can do this! I think we can give God reign over our hearts to think thoughts that make us more like Him and draw us to Him.

Who’s on board with me? Let me know if you want to commit to laying down your sworded words and producing more healing words. Let’s be a blessing to people and bring glory to the Lord.

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