The words one uses are important. Words can make one feel good or important, or they can cause one to feel bad and useless.
Parents especially need to be careful how they speak to their children. Good parents know they can help or hurt their child with their words.
Words can change the course of lives. One should take time to phrase their words.
James wrote, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19).
One must learn to control the things they say. James also said this is a difficult thing to do (James 3:1-12).
In the song “Angry Words,” the lyrics tell of how a person should never let angry words escape from their lips, and that the best impulse of the heart might check those words lest they spoil the lips.
Another verse states how the brightest links of life may be broken by a single angry word. Those lyrics are true.
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 was too late? Parents have been guilty of the same thing, concerning their children. James had more to say about how one speaks. “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. One must watch their words carefully.
Cursing, tale-bearing, gossip, boasting and lying are just a few ways that words can be misused. Cursing today seems to have become a way of life for many. It is as if they could not talk unless they used a curse word in their speech.
There was a time when men would never think of cursing in front of a woman or children out of respect. That is no longer the case.
Gossip and tale-bearing are also ways in which words are misused on occasion. The Psalmist wrote concerning this, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor” (Psalm 15:1-3).
Even if a thing is true, it should not become a subject of gossip.
The power words yield should keep one from saying things that are hurtful. While it is true words can be misused, they do not have to be. Words are that by which souls can be brought to the Lord.
In II Kings 5, there is a wonderful example of how just a few words were able to help show God to a nation of people. It is the account of Naaman a captain in the army of Syria, who was a sufferer of leprosy.
His wife’s maid spoke just a few words concerning the prophet of God. After doing as the prophet had told him Naaman made the statement: “… Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel:” (II Kings 5:15).
The world needs to hear more words spoken from God’s word. They may be “just words” but so much depends upon them. Strive to use words in service to God.