According to reference.com, a University of Arizona study found that most people speak about 16,000 words a day. Just as a side note, women did not speak more than men. I can tell you that I would never have guessed that I use that many words in a day, and I talk a lot. My next thought is, “How many of those words are well thought out? How many edify others? How many put others down?” Then I started to wonder how many words do we think in a day since we hold back on a lot of things we wish we could say, but there’s no research on that. As I began to think about that more, I wondered how many of those words we address to ourselves in a negative way. We’re pretty good at not tearing down others (out loud), but how many times do we put ourselves down out loud and internally?
Words are some of the most powerful things on the planet. Even though we said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” we knew it was a lie. Inside we were dying because of something someone else told us. How much more do we hurt by replaying those words or even repeating them over ourselves in agreement? As Christians, we must be careful with the words we say to others and ourselves. We have to change our internal words before we can change the 16,000 words we speak. Just because no person can tame the tongue, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t control it. With God’s help, you can change the words you speak and agree with in order to change your life and someone else’s. Use your 16,000 words wisely each day.
Here are some Bible verses on the words we say.
1. But no one has ever been able to tame the tongue. It is evil and uncontrollable, full of deadly poison. We use it to give thanks to our Lord and Father and also to curse other people, who are created in the likeness of God. Words of thanksgiving and cursing pour out from the same mouth. My friends, this should not happen!
James 3:8-10 GNT
2. Reckless words are like the thrusts of a sword, cutting remarks meant to stab and to hurt. But the words of the wise soothe and heal.
Proverbs 12:18 TPT
3. A soothing tongue [speaking words that build up and encourage] is a tree of life, But a perversive tongue [speaking words that overwhelm and depress] crushes the spirit.
Proverbs 15:4 AMP
4. Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.
Proverbs 18:21 MSG
5. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Ephesians 4:29 NLT