Don’t let even one rotten word seep out of your mouths. Instead, offer only fresh words that build others up when they need it most. That way your good words will communicate grace to those who hear them. It’s time to stop bringing grief to God’s Holy Spirit; you have been sealed with the Spirit, marked as His own for the day of rescue. Banish bitterness, rage and anger, shouting and slander, and any and all malicious thoughts—these are poison. Instead, be kind and compassionate. Graciously forgive one another just as God has forgiven you through the Anointed, our Liberating King. (Ephesians 4:29-32 Voice)
I had recently made a pledge to my family that I would stop cursing (not that I do it all that often, but the occasional shock or injury has been known to cause me to slip up - although I’d like to blame my colorful vocabulary on my time enlisted in the Army, I know that wouldn’t be completely accurate). I had started the pledge because I have been reading Beth Moore’s “Believing God” (excellent book for growing your faith). When she approached the topic of controlling our tongue, I was instantly convicted and I was naive to assume just the occasional swearing was my sin - no it was much more than that. Today God showed me, it’s all my words - whether spoken or posted that needed to be tamed.
If you put yourself on a pedestal, thinking you have become a role model in all things religious, but you can’t control your mouth, then think again. Your mouth exposes your heart, and your religion is useless. (James 1:26 Voice)
My pledge has changed from simply 'not cursing' to 'weighing my words' - thinking about what I'm about to say. I've eaten my own words enough, to know that I prefer to keep my foot on the ground, and out of my mouth. It breaks my heart to think that words I have shared could hurt others - thank God for His grace and mercy, I'm moving forward with a better focus on my words!
Our words should only be used to build up and encourage; when our words are used sarcastically, in frustration, or even to just ‘vent’ some thoughts - we are creating an environment that isn’t honoring God, but instead we’re laying out a ‘Welcome’ mat for the enemy.
If you are angry, don’t sin by nursing your grudge. Don’t let the sun go down with you still angry—get over it quickly; for when you are angry, you give a mighty foothold to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27 TLB)
We live in a society where it’s acceptable to be sarcastic and even crude, if we follow with a “just kidding” or “just saying”. What might be an off-handed remark or not a big deal to us, might be a sentence that brings tears to someone else. Regardless of the intention, our words matter and once they are spoken - they might be forgiven, but they are not always forgotten.
The other day I was teaching our sons that they carry the family name; that a name is more than who your parents are, it is a representation of our character - and that name goes with them in everything they do, whether they are speaking to someone or helping out with a task. In teaching this, I realized as a child of God I'm a reflection of my Heavenly Father, we carry His good and holy name as Believers and as Christians. Every day we are examples to others, we are Ambassadors of Christ - we show the world Christ, whether we're at work, at home, on social media, or out and about in our town - even on vacation - there's no time off, we're always God's children. The words we say have value, but are we using them as currency in this lost world or in God's Kingdom?
But no man has ever demonstrated the ability to tame his own tongue! It is a spring of restless evil, brimming with toxic poisons. Ironically this same tongue can be both an instrument of blessing to our Lord and Father and a weapon that hurls curses upon others who are created in God’s own image. One mouth streams forth both blessings and curses. My brothers and sisters, this is not how it should be. (James 3:9-12 Voice)