I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten in trouble after saying something. The first question to me is usually, “Why would you say that?” My response is, “I don’t know. I wasn’t thinking.” I speak so much that sometimes I forget that I need to pay attention to them before I let them leave my lips. As a result, I’ve said some pretty hurtful things to people. Those words could have been chosen more wisely or better yet, left unsaid. Once words leave our lips, we can’t get them back again or undo the damage they cause.
On the other hand, I’ve had some people speak words to me that have brought healing to some of my deepest wounds. Their words have brought hope into my hopeless situations, lit up my dark paths, and built me up when I’ve been down. Their words were wisely spoken at just the right time. My prayer has been that I would be that type of person. I want to be someone who uses my words to bring healing instead of pain.
I’ve been reading Proverbs since I was a kid. I can tell you that Solomon understood the power of words. Over and over in that book, he tries to get us to see just how powerful they really are. One such example is in Proverbs 12:18. He wrote, “Thoughtless words can wound as deeply as any sword, but wisely spoken words can heal” (GNT). Many of us can attest to how deep someone’s thoughtless words have hurt us. As they echo in our mind, the wound gets deeper and a root of bitterness can easily spring up in that environment.
It’s critical for each one of us to choose our words wisely. Whether we are responding to someone who has hurt us with their words or we are just having a conversation, our word choices matter. We can’t afford to speak without thinking. We can pray each day and ask God to help us to choose our words wisely so that we bring healing instead of pain. The power of life and death truly is in our words. Never take that lightly.