"Wisdom Cries Out"

"Wisdom Cries Out"

It Matters How You Say It

“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12.18)

You know what to say to get a rise out of your spouse. You know the tone and inflection needed to instigate your kids. You know how to craft a backhanded remark to express your displeasure. In moments of stress we often become pointed and flippant with our words. 

This can cause serious damage. Your spouse may put up barriers and become detached. Your kids may shut down and quit talking to you. Others may just avoid you altogether. 

All of this impacts our emotional well-being, but it also affects our influence. Nobody wants to listen to the person who “gives full vent to their spirit” and pummels others with words (Proverbs 10.19; 29.11). Especially not the person who uses them as an assault weapon. 

What you say and how you say it matters. 

God designed us to be affected by words. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18.21). When words are used rashly it shows our pride and disdain for the well-being of others (see Proverbs 10.11, 21; 18.2; Malachi 3.13). Your words can damage another’s self-confidence, depress the outlook of a situation, or worse: they can destroy relationships that you care deeply about. 

We can control the things we say, but it takes intentional thought (Philippians 4.8) and concern for the well-being of others (Ephesians 4.29). And so, be thoughtful and deliberate with your words. You can always say more later, but you can’t say less.

“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” (James 1.26)