By Bill Brandstatter
We live in a time when a person has to be careful what words are used. Many are looking for something that is wrong. The way something is said is often noticed. Sometimes even the intent is in question by some. What we say is important. Our words mean a great deal.
Words are accountable. We are accountable for what we say. Jesus said, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matt.12:37 NKJV) What we say matters a great deal. Do we speak before we think? James advices us to be “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” (James 1:20) How many times have we said something only to regret it later? In a Bible class once, a lady stated, “We need to think twice and speak once.”
Words are authentic. Words tell something about us. Jesus stated, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) If a person talks long enough, the heart is revealed through the words that are spoken. Someone once stated, “It is better to keep silent and thought of as a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”
Words are appropriate. Often there are the right words to say at the right time. Do we use appropriate words? Sometimes a person can say the right thing at the wrong time. There are right words to use at the right time. The apostle Paul helps in our understanding by stating “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (Col. 4:6) Peter states Christians should be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in them. (1 Pet. 3:15)
Words are aped. Our words may be copied or imitated. I was reminded of this recently when my two-year old granddaughter visited us. The way a toddler learns words is to repeat what is heard. If I don’t want my children to say certain words, I shouldn’t say them. I have heard individuals respond to a child’s language by stating, “Where did he hear that?” The best statement to follow about saying the right thing so it won’t be copied is found in Eph. 4:29. Paul writes, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Someone is always listening to what we say. Do we want it repeated?
Let us always remember that God knows us. He knows what we say. He knows who we are. Do we want God to hear what we say? Let us be careful to speak the words that will please Him.