Proverbs 15:1-2 ESV
1 A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
We’ve all seen or heard the famous quote from Thumper in the movie Bambi. Thumper, in remembering the wise advice of his mother, instructed Bambi on the impact of our words. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all”, said Thumper. How wise was Thumper in his young rabbit age? Wise instruction from knowledgeable and experienced parents. Once words are spoken they cannot be taken back. Be careful and watchful of the words you speak.
I remember as a young boy growing up in the church. My parents were youth pastors and I was always at their feet or being bounced on the knee of a trusted youth. Many of the lessons I still teach in my adult ministry today came from the instruction of my youth. One of the lessons I remember (and was recently reminded of by my mother) was the power of words and toothpaste. Toothpaste? You may have heard this lesson. It has been replicated by many over the years.
As the lesson goes, you take a tube of toothpaste and you squeeze out all the paste. Every drop should be expended. Then, after careful examination of the empty tube and the mess of paste on a table or clothe, you ask someone (often times children) to put all the paste back into the tube. After considerable attempts, the person in question finds that the task at hand is impossible. It is impossible, regardless of all our efforts, to put the paste back into the tube. The more you try, the messier you get.
In a similar way, our words, once spoken, cannot be taken back or put back in our mouths. As much as we try or want to take them back, they have been spoken. Be careful what you say. The impact of our words will either encourage and build someone up or will seek to tear someone down. Our words have power! Our words are impacting and should be carefully considered.
Psalm 19:14 ESV
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Ephesians 4:29 ESV
29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Have you forgotten the impact of your words? Have your words became like soured milk to the taste...distasteful and poisoning? Or do your words speak life and seek to encourage everyone who hears them? To your spouse...your children...your family...your friends and coworkers...people you don’t know that you meet on random? Are you speaking life? Are you living a life of witness for the Lord through your words and your actions? There is power in the tongue. Don’t forget the power you possess through the impact of your words. Speak life and encourage someone today with your words. Every time you brush your teeth in the morning, remember that paste and what it means to speak life.
Share this message with someone that needs to hear it today. Pray that God will remind you to be thoughtful with your words and watchful of what you choose to say. Speak life, speak love...speak God’s love and be His example. Watch and take hold of your words.
Proverbs 18:21 ESV
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Proverbs 12:18 ESV
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Praying for you today and the impact you have for the Kingdom of God,