Words Have Consequences
“Be careful with your words,” is good advice to many who have found themselves in the midst of a war of words.There can be grave consequences to the careers of media personalities who misspeak in a very public way. And the average social media user can find themselves lambasted or ostracized for their words. But how important is what we say, when it comes to God’s point of view? Jesus, when confronted by the leaders of his day, had this to say, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” What did he mean?
Words have Power — Be Careful with Your Words
James, the brother of Jesus, wrote about the power of words, and the self-control of those who are able to “tame the tongue.” He contrasted salty language, and the human propensity to curse, boast, or lie, with the “fresh water” of clean, pure speech. And he identified the source, the motivation behind both. There is a warning to all to avoid “blasphemia.” To blaspheme, is to call what is good “evil,” and what is right, “wrong.” Paul wrote of it later as “turning the truth of God into a lie.” Words truly have power to destroy.
Think Before You Speak
To be careful with your words, you must consider what God would have you say. David wanted his words to be acceptable to God, not presumptuous, or proud and arrogant. Moses did not want to speak, but eventually God gave him the words, and he learned to speak as God had spoken to him. There may come a time when we each must speak as a witness to others, as ambassadors for Christ, and Jesus told us not to worry about finding the right words. God’s spirit will give us the words, so we can be wise as serpents and harmless as doves in the things that we say.
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