The Effects of Our Words

Scripture: Proverbs 12:18, ‘Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.’


Observations: How we speak effects those around us. Reckless, or thoughtless, words can wound people. Like a sword pierces the flesh, so our words can pierce someone’s heart. Like a wound causes physical pain, so our words can cause emotional pain. The book of Proverbs puts reckless words in the same category as foolish talk, they are the things we say that we haven’t thought through. On the other side, a wise person thinks carefully about what they say, and their words bring healing. Instead of wounding and hurting others, the words of the wise bring joy and peace, they build others up and encourage them, they remind people of God’s grace in Christ Jesus and call them to a life of faith and trust, they confront sin and promote repentance.


Application: How do your words effect others? Do you even know? What is the purpose you speak? Is it to hurt others, or to brush them aside, or belittle them, or do you speak to bring healing and joy and peace and hope? Every time you speak today ask whether what you just said was in anyway hurtful (or could be perceived as hurtful), or whether it was affirming. Do you speak ‘the very words of God,’ as Peter puts it in 1 Peter 4:11.


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, may my words today honour You. Lord, forgive me if my words hurt others, and help me to seek forgiveness from those I hurt, that my words may bring healing. Lord, help me to speak the words that You want me to speak, that Your will might be revealed and Your love and grace communicated. Use me today to bring healing and hope to others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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