Once we uncover the false and trust the true, we can see the truth that sets us free to find peace and joy, even if nothing has changed around us. It’s the fight of faith we engage in daily! Difficult doesn’t mean impossible, for “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). Learning to overcome thoughts and emotions requires discipline – not in the denial of pleasure, but in the pursuit of pleasure (Hebrews 12:10–11).
Words can bring life, joy, encouragement, hope and healing when spoken in the right tone and at the right time. They can also bring down, humiliate and destroy if we don’t carefully monitor and control their use. At times, they captivate our attention for a moment, but leave no lasting impression or benefit to anyone. There’s simply no way to exaggerate the life-giving and life-taking power of words.
One example of the importance of words, speech, or casual comments are in the grand scheme of things in Matthew 12:33-37.
Jesus Confronts Religious Leaders of His Day!
A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.The good person brings forth good out of his good treasure, and the evil person brings forth evil out of his evil treasure. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word spoken, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:33-37).
Words, what we say and how we say it, is so perfectly a reflection of what’s in our hearts that, according to Jesus, there won’t even be a need to evaluate your words on the day of judgment.
Words can lead to our personal downfall and destruction. The fool is so rash and reckless with his words that he invites his own punishment and rebuke. Careless speech will almost always boomerang on the speaker and bring devastation.
“The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly” (Prov. 15:2)
So, before you open your mouth and release words, whether they’re true, accurate or necessary, pause for a moment and ask yourself: is what I’m about to say encouraging or tearing down? Does it promote goodness or justify sinful choices? Does it build trust or serve to alienate and divide? We read all over Proverbs about the virtues of calm, gentle, and pleasant speech.
You will make far more progress in persuading an opponent and experience far greater success in making your viewpoint known and accepted when you speak softly and gently. Harsh words rarely succeed in overcoming stubborn opposition.
John Calvin once wrote, “When a man is running short on evidence, he raises his voice. Shouting is wrongly thought to compensate for lack of substance. But the person who is confident of the truth is calm and gentle.”
“The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near” (Prov. 10:14).
Laying up knowledge means someone who restrains and makes no show of what he/she has learned. They speak with due intention instead of a tongue governed by pride! The fool, on the other hand, takes no thought of when or what he speaks. He blurts out statements that do more harm than good.
“When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent” (Prov. 10:19).
“If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame” (Prov. 18:13).
When we speak is as important as what we say. The most priceless truths fall dead to the ground when spoken in haste or with a harsh tone.
“IT’S BETTER TO KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT & LET THEM THINK YOU’RE A FOOL
THAN OPEN YOUR MOUTH & REMOVE ALL DOUBT.” (Ephesians 4:29)
“Let no corrupt talk come out of your mouth, but only what is good for building up,
that it may give grace to those who hear” – Abraham Lincoln