How important are our words?
They can change a bad day into a good one, make one who is sad smile, but they can break up families, keep lost ones from the truth and destroy friendships, so really they can change the course of our lives.
It is important that we are careful with our words. Here is where difficulties arise.
James had some good advice on the subject of speaking when by inspiration he wrote, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (James 1:19).
Realizing the power our words have we must learn to control the things we say.
James also tells us this is a difficult thing to do (James 3:1-12).
There is an old song we sing from time to time entitled "Angry Words." The lyrics tell of how we should never let angry words escape from our lips, but that the best impulse of our heart might check those words lest they spoil the lips.
Another verse states how brightest links of life may be broken by a single angry word. How true are these words.
How many times have husbands or wives said things in a moment of anger and wished so much to be able to recall those words but it is to late.
Parents have been guilty of the same thing, concerning their children.
"Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth! (James 3:5).
The tongue can be used just like a match in a dry field; one small statement can destroy friendships, families and even congregations.
There are so many ways one can misuse words.
Cursing, tale bearing, gossip, boasting, lying, are just a few ways that words can be misused.
Cursing in our day seems to have become a way of life for so many.
It is as if they could not talk unless they used a curse word in their speech.
Sadly such words are also heard from members of the Church on occasion.
Look at James again,
"Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh" (James 3:9-12).
As Christians we need to not only remember but take to heart our responsibility when it comes to the example set before others.
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 5:14-16).
The Christian’s light is not shining forth to represent God when cursing is part of our vocabulary. Our words are important.