The tongue is a small but powerful thing. Our words carry with them power. They have the ability to hurt, discourage, or knock the wind out of us. But they also have the capacity to heal, encourage, and restore. Thank goodness we do not have to manage it on our own. The Holy Spirit can help us practice self-control, season our words with grace, and speak the truth in love.
Many times I have said things that I regret. Children especially can be careless with the words they speak or the names they call, even if it's in jest.
The old saying "Stick and stones may break by bones, but names will never hurt me." isn't true.
My heart's desire for my kids is to use their words wisely, to think before they speak...or at least try. I want the words they speak to benefit others.
When I hear my kids bickering or saying things that are hurtful, I step in. I ask questions uncover the heart of the conflict and help them address it. I equip them with the Word of God – with verses on words and the power of words – and I make suggestions of better ways to express what they are thinking or feeling.
I hope that if we "practice" this new language of building each other up it will eventually flow from their lips with ease.
Verses for this month:
- Anyone who is careful about what he says keeps himself out of trouble. Proverbs 21:23 (NIrV)
- Your tongue has the power of life and death. Those who love to talk will eat the fruit of their words. Proverbs 18:21 (NIrV)
- 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.Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
- Scripture says,“Do you want to love life and see good days? Then keep your tongues from speaking evil. Keep your lips from telling lies. 1 Peter 3:10 (NIrV)
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