Weak or Wise Web

If you're like me, you have probably said something you regret. Maybe you're on the other side, someone else's words have hurt you and it's stuck with you for years. It says in Proverbs that our words have the power of life or death (Proverbs 18:21). We need to be wise with our words. The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about our words and there are warnings about gossip, lying, and mocking (Proverbs 11:13, 16:28, 12:22, 14:6-7). Those words break relationships. On the other hand, we can speak life and healing (Proverbs 12:18, 18:21). A kind word can shift a heart from stress to joy (Proverbs 12:25). Gracious words like "It will be okay", "I'm sorry", "I forgive you" can break down walls (Proverbs 16:24). A gentle answer can shift a conversation and settle down an angry attitude. (Proverbs 15:1-2). All these examples reinforce our need to be wise with our words, but how do we do that?

We see some wisdom in Proverbs about our words and it challenges us to speak less and to think before we speak:

Proverbs 13:3 - Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

Proverbs 15:28 - The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.

Proverbs 17:27-28 - The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent and discerning if they hold their tongues.

Proverbs 21:23 - Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.

Are you someone who doesn't have a filter between your mind and your mouth? Well, here's a filter we need to install in our lives. If we follow the wisdom in Proverbs to think before we speak, this filter can help us become wise with our words. Think about this: Is it Kind? Helpful? True? 
You might have something you want to say that is true, but you can't say it in a kind way or it won't help the situation. Then it's probably not the right thing to say. You can say something kind, but it might not be true and you might be enabling a situation or just responding so they aren't mad at you. That's not helpful. 

Our words hold the power of life and death, so let's be wise with our words. For more on this topic, check out our Weak or Wise series here.