Has your tongue ever gotten the best of you? There’s no question that one of the biggest battles most people continually face is the struggle with their own mouth. In a matter of a few moments our words can change the future, for good or bad. How many friendships were formed or cemented during one good conversation? How many relationships have been deeply damaged or destroyed by a short retort, a harsh reaction, or a mean-spirited statement.
Take a look at how the Bible describes the impact of our words:
A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything — or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. — James 3:5, 6 (Msg)
Words can bring calmness, reasonableness and reconciliation or they can incite anxiety, anger or alienation. They build up or they tear down. They make better or they make worse. They heal or they hurt. They revive and resurrect or they suffocate or kill.
How can we get a handle on our tongue, especially when we’re in volatile situations or dealing with a frustrating, agitating person?
Here is some wise guidance:
Be patient and you will finally win, for a soft tongue can break hard bones. — Proverbs 25:15 (TLB)
Pay close attention to one phrase — “a soft tongue.” The way to make relationships work is to develop a certain way of speaking. We have to “soften” our words.
The original Hebrew term for “soft” referred to something refined. Things that are refined have been freed from impurities or unwanted materials or imperfections. Something refined has been polished, reduced in vigor and intensity; freed from coarseness and vulgarity. It has been processed through appropriate filters.
When our words are refined, they have more positive impact. They’re filtered through a right heart and some good thinking BEFORE they are spoken. They’re evaluated and measured in advance for potential consequences and adjusted before stated.
Are your words refined or unrefined? The difference is a filter. Work on filtering your comments and communication. You’ll be amazed at the difference this will make in your life!