Someone once said, “Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time. You won’t have a leg to stand on.” There are many times I’ve found myself saying things I don’t mean or using words that hurt without even realizing it. We are responsible for the power of our own words and often don’t think before we speak. We also say things without realizing that our words have consequences. My tongue doesn’t always follow the directions of my brain and seems to take on a life of its own. Life would be so much easier if we had a script to follow wouldn’t it?
The Bible has a lot to say about the tongue and choosing our words carefully before we put them out there. As writers, we’re even more accountable, because our words cannot be erased or forgotten.
James 1:26 says, “ If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.”
That says a lot about the picture we paint of ourselves in our Christian walk. I’m not just talking about cursing and swearing, but words that show a different side of us. The side that isn’t compassionate – caring – encouraging – uplifting – the dark side. We see a lot of this in the media of today. Words can slant our thinking. Words can destroy a person’s good name. Words can cut deeper than a knife and alter the way others think about themselves and how they relate to the rest of the world. Lies and slander don’t seem to carry the same weight that they used too. In a world of no holes barred, and instant gratification, little thought is given to the effect our words can have on others.
Life is too short to go about having to apologize constantly for what we say. If we don’t have something constructive to say, we should put a foot in our mouth simply to keep us quiet. It might be an interesting concept. I wonder how many of us would be walking on one foot.
Dear,Lord, I am sinful. My words are not always the right ones. When I am tempted to say or think things that would hurt another person, remind me that I cannot even speak without your guidance. Still you give me the freedom to speak. Help me to use my words for the benefit of others. When we’re cut deeply by words, grant me the grace to forgive. Allow me to put the best construction on all things. Teach me to control what comes from my mouth and use my voice to glorify you. Amen!