By Zach Wood
Proverbs 13:3 NIV
Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
We have all done it. Every one of us has had a day when it seems like no matter what we say, it gets us into trouble somehow. We have all had days that we treat our spouses, our kids, other family, loved ones and friends with terrible words that hurt. It’s not that we mean to start our day with the intention of hurting others, but it just happens.
There are some days when nothing but positive things come out of our mouths. Then, there are days when it seems like nothing but insults and criticisms flow. There are days for many of us that either we have thought of using vulgar language toward someone, we mutter it quietly, or we lash out with it to someone around us. Before we know it, we’ve changed the other person’s view of us at that moment.
You wouldn’t be human if you’ve never had a day where you said something you regret. I think of the past 40 years of my life and all the things that I have said to others. I hope and pray that I’ve encouraged more than I’ve discouraged. But I’m sure that I’ve said some pretty rotten and nasty things to people that have hurt deeply. I am human and sometimes I have some pretty rancid thoughts and feelings toward others. I pray that God would not only change my words about them, but my heart attitude toward them as well.
This proverb is powerful. Those who work hard to guard what they say will bring wonders to their life. I think sometimes we grow the most when we “bite our tongue” when we could say something really harsh toward another and, instead, speak words of love. When we let our words fly, so often we regret what we have said in the heat of a discussion.
Friends, our words are heavy. They can either be heavy to encourage or to discourage. Which do you want to do? Do you want to bring ruin to your conversations or do you want to light conversations up with your encouragement and love of God? Do you want to completely restore someone in a conversation or do you want to completely destroy their feelings?
It is amazing what our words do. I want to encourage all of us that we need to work harder and pray more that God would guard our lips so that love will flow from us. Wherever we are, whatever we are doing and anything we say should show that we truly love God.