Do you really think about the words you speak?  Has someone said something that really bothered you or maybe hurt you?  Or did you hear someone making inappropriate comments behind someone else’s back?  As Christians, we need to ensure that our speech is sweet.  The words that come forth from our mouth should seek to encourage, uplift, and share the love of God.  We need to not only walk the walk, but talk the talk as well.  And when we do talk, we need to build others up instead of tearing them down, bless instead of curse, and love instead of hate.  Inevitably, we need to ensure our lips do not bring sourness; instead, we need to make sure our words are sweet like honey.

I’m sure we have all heard the old adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  In reality, this statement is entirely false.  Bones will eventually heal, but broken spirits and crushed hearts may never fully mend.  Proverbs 12:18 (NIV) states, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”  I am sure none of us desire our words to act as swords.  Still, it is so easy to fall into that trap where you are tempted to say something that would best be left unsaid.  We need to guard ourselves against this reckless behavior, and do our best to bring wisdom and healing through the words we say.  If you have been the one on the receiving end, being pierced by the words of another person, do not hold a grudge.  Instead, pray that they will find the sweet talk that comes from knowing Jesus.  You’ll be amazed at what God can do when we ask Him to intervene!

This past weekend, I received a tweet containing a quote from Lisa Whelchel, who was speaking at the Women of Faith Over the Top tour in Billings, Montana.  Lisa was quoted as saying, “Pay attention to how someone talks to you about other people.  That’s probably how they talk to other people about you."  When I read this statement, I took a moment to think about what it meant.  Quite often, I have people tell me things about other people.  But, I typically have little thought as to what they tell others about me.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be a fly on the wall, able to hear everything that was said about you?  Of course, this could be a negative thing, since the knowledge of every word spoken about you could cause you to become sad, discouraged, or downright angry.  Be careful what you say and listen carefully to others.  And separate yourself from conversations that may bring harm to others.  Words truly can be hurtful, and we need to think before we speak.  Not only that, but we need to think about who we are speaking to and who we are speaking about before we utter the words.

Proverbs 11:11-13 (NIV) says, “Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.  A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.”  In our relationships with other people, we need to maintain a level of trust.  Trust is an integral part of a friendship.  If you cannot trust your friends, your friendship can only go so far.  But if you have a solid foundation of trust, you will find that your friendship will be long-lasting and completely worthwhile.  As Christians, we should strive to be supportive, loving, and trustworthy friends, as opposed to being  gossiping, hurtful, and untrustworthy companions

Many times, it is so easy to just blurt out whatever pops into our head.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that should not be said, at least not to everyone around us.  Part of being a good parent, sibling, or friend is to know when to speak, what to say, and who to share it with.  God has given us the precious gift of speech.  We need to respect this gift and use it wisely.  God wants us to love our neighbor.  In order to show compassion for others, we need to ensure that our words are filled with the love of Jesus.  The words we speak should be carefully considered, so that we can avoid offending someone, putting someone down, or causing grief for another person.  So, the next time you hear someone engaging in sour words, pray for them.  And the next time you find yourself being painted into a corner, getting ready to share something you really shouldn’t, pray that God will help you hold your tongue.  Do not allow your words to be bitter.  Stick with Jesus and let your talk be sweet!

In Christ’s Love,