“Did I Really Say That?!” Using Wisdom in Our Words

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“Did I Really Say That?!” Using Wisdom in Our Words

Have you ever been in a circumstance when you said something that you couldn’t believe actually came out of your mouth? Maybe a bit too much gossip or words spoken in anger. Did you grow up in a family where compliments were hard to come by but criticism was not?

Perhaps you have been the recipient of someone else’s careless talk.   Do any of these scenarios resonate with you?

No matter how you try to rationalize careless words, they hurt.

One of the most well known passages in the Bible on controlling the tongue can be found in James. “My dear brothers, take note of this:  Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry….if anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself.” James 1:19, 26.

Proverbs has much to say about the unbridled tongue:  “With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbors.” Proverbs 11:9b “A gossip betrays a confidence”. Proverbs 11:13 “Reckless words pierce like a sword.” Probers 12:18 “The tongue has the power of life and death” Proverbs 18:21 “A lying tongue hates those it hurts.” Proverbs 26:28 “The LORD detests lying lips” Proverbs 12:22

Have you ever considered that when you speak ill of people, gossip, lie, say biting things, or are cruel and unkind you are revealing your own character? Jesus said that “the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart…” Matthew 15:18

Being unrestrained in what you say and how you say it controls and corrupts your whole life. It will influence your relationships with those you love, your friends, business associates, and everyone you interact with in life. Indeed, it will affect your sense of peace, happiness and contentment.The Bible says that there is no portion of your life that won’t be touched by what you say, so it’s imperative that you learn to control your tongue. An unbridled tongue is a dangerous and destructive thing and once a word is spoken we cannot recall it, no matter how badly we would like to.

I grew up in a family where words of praise were few but words of criticism were easily given. I still remember how I struggled with the pain of constantly being put down and criticized. The constant negative reinforcement caused me to struggle for years with a sense of insecurity and inadequacy. I promised myself that I would not repeat that pattern with my children. Unfortunately when I was raising my own family I found myself falling into the negative pattern of my parents. As I was struggling with controlling my negative tongue with my children, I read Ephesians 4:29.

The verse jumped off the page. I immediately wrote it down, and referred to the verse whenever I was tempted to lash out. Perhaps this verse will be an encouragement to you and help you as much as it helped me: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” In NIV 1984 or, in another translation: “Don’t use foul or abusive language.  Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them” NLT.

I immediately followed the truth of this verse and my approach to parenting was dramatically changed. I began looking for the positive in each act, not the negative. When I corrected my children I did so with a voice of encouragement, not criticism. And another amazing thing occurred: I began to view my life in a much more positive light and I found it easier to cope with everyday frustrations because my entire mental attitude had changed.

Words have consequences, they reflect who we are.  Let our words be a reflection of Christ.

“A gracious word may smooth the way; a joyous word may light the day, a timely word may lessen stress; a loving word may heal and bless” – author unknown

About The Author
Lynn Pharris
Lynn Pharris
39 Comments
Leave a response
  • Brent Caldwell
    July 12, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Thanks Lynn – This is one that I should read and pray about once a week!
    Blessings,
    Brent

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  • Birdie Lawson
    July 12, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    That is true they do hurt

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  • Derald Ginger
    July 12, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    ” STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK MY BONES, BUT WORDS WILL NEVER HARM ME! ” WAS SUCH A BIG LIE!!!!!

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  • Kim Lane-ayre
    July 12, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    i pray in my continued effort of awareness! ty 4 posting

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  • Deborah Anderson
    July 12, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Wow, awesome commentary.. Thank you!

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  • Hope Swann
    July 12, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    STOP AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE SAYING AND HOW YOU ARE SAYING IT BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR BIG MOUTH AND HURT SOMEONE THAT DOES NOT DESERVE IT!!!

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  • Alexandria Ledgerwood
    July 12, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    this also includes gossiping.

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  • Kevin Strommen
    July 13, 2012 at 1:50 am

    I have had things said to me that were very hurtful…I would rather have been punched in the nose! That would have been less painful!

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  • Paula Rodriguez
    July 13, 2012 at 4:25 am

    I have been punced and verbal abuse. words don’t go away they stay there stuck on replay, Thank God Jesus rules my heart now so much easier to ask if there be a grain of truth in them if so repent gladley and send them up

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  • Yvonne Malone
    July 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    AMEN, SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT.

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  • Alice McArthur
    July 14, 2012 at 12:46 am

    pray to God to help you with your tongue, think first then speak

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  • Marie Thomas
    July 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    James 3:8 NIV
    but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

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  • Kathi Hamilton
    July 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Marie your words are so true. I dare say that we all have been guilty of spiting out guile at some point and then there are some people who thrive on it. I constantly pray that God will allow my Guardian Angel to have a strong watchful eye of reminder over my tongue.and help me to be a good example to others of christian kindness.

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  • Karan Sue Poston
    July 15, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    yes we all battle with the tongue! forgive us LORD send the angel to sear our lips! that only love & truth would flow from them. help us to be slow to speak! a-men kayran~flower luv~joy~peace

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  • Sharon Mabry Bourgeois
    July 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    yes words really do hurt more then a lot of people know

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  • Virginia Keller
    July 16, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    You can’t take back words that you have spoken . Words do hurt !!!

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  • Mary Cardona
    July 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    yes that’s true no matter how I tried to reach out they persecute me all the time. they want me in their life, yet they continue to judge me yes they continued to hurt me inside. young an invincible they are. BUT I WILL CONTINUE LOVING THEM AND PRAYING FOR UNITY LOVE AND RESPECT.

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  • Erica Cote
    September 18, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I NEED TO CONTROL WHAT I SAY AND HOW MORE!

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  • Robert Rigsby
    September 18, 2012 at 11:04 am

    AMEN!

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  • Araoti Akinyemi
    September 18, 2012 at 11:08 am

    hmm food for thought isn’t it?

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  • Araoti Akinyemi
    September 18, 2012 at 11:10 am

    TROCHIA thanks for this wonderful advice.

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  • Wendy Fox-Crawford
    September 18, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Yes it will.

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  • Dee Dodson
    September 18, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Amen, Thank u for the reminder

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  • Tina Rae Barker-Goldsmith
    September 18, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Our words can give death or they can give life to the ones listening…also ours words can open the door to satan having a field day on us or the blessings of the Lord raining down on us…what comes out of our mouths is very important to our Lord and the attitude and tone that is being expressed through the words we speak.

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  • Joyce Jones
    September 18, 2012 at 11:41 am

    I’m not restraining nothing…can say what I mean and mean what I say…but always keep it clean! ();

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  • Earl Scott
    September 18, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Right on

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  • Christine Tyler
    September 18, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Feel you there….

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  • Melissa Garcia
    September 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    A closed mouth gathers no foot. lol

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  • Linda Salgado
    September 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Have to think about how others will interpret what we say, even if we mean NO Harm.

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  • Kathy Hites
    September 18, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Well, thank God, I say very little, so that is a good thing.

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  • Angela Deshazor
    September 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    People should think about the words that come out of there mouth before they say them, but they dont’t. Some just don’t Care!!!!

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  • Jennifer Mickey
    September 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    True!

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  • Bobbisue Jones
    September 18, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I have learned that words are like feathers flying out of a pillow,you can never get them all back in the pillow

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  • Bobbisue Jones
    September 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    sometimes its not what you say but in how you say them!!

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  • Jeanne Marie Bentsen
    September 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    My mother told my father “I wish your mother would drop dead”. The next day she did! Be very careful of our words, our thoughts and wishes.

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  • Patricia Diane Brooks
    September 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Especially in a heated moment, best to step away and take time to choose your words wisley, words are like the blade of a knife!!

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  • Karina Jeans
    September 18, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Amen

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  • Adrienne Pollard
    June 5, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Working on it!

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  • Judy Miller
    July 19, 2014 at 6:59 am

    AMEN

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