James 3:10 NLT
And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!
Romans 15:2 NLT
We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.
You have heard some of these saying before: “watch what you say”, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say nothing at all”, “choose your words carefully”. The fact is words hurt.
I am working on a series of sermons that I will preach later this year, and it has been so overwhelming in the last few days that the words that we use often hurt more than we know. Words last longer than our presence does. Words often cut a person and stick in our minds. They come back up a lot.
Yet if we chose to build people up, those words will stick too and build people up more than we know. Have you noticed that often the harshest words we use are pointed at the people that are closest to us? These are the people who live with us and care about us the most.
Everyone needs to be built up. Honest words build up people too. Think about the words that need to be said to the people closest to you. Sometimes those words aren’t easy to share but so needed. They come with intentions to help and not hurt. When we check our motives and our intentions, our words can be chosen to help those we are talking to.
Think back through the last few conversations you have had. Were you words hurtful or helpful? Helpful words come from a heart that is caring and cautious. Hurtful words come from a heart that is often callous and cold. The first verse above says that hurtful and helpful words shouldn’t come from the same person.
I desire to build people up and not tear them down. Understanding that words hurt when we use them incorrectly will change much in me and in the people that I communicate with.
May God mold us and our conversations so that our words help and not hurt others.
I close today by drawing your attention to a book I recently started that speaks to the names we’ve been called or the labels that people have given us. It is Your Secret Name by Kary Oberbrunner, and this would be a great resource for you to learn from.