Read Proverbs 21:23
Something that I love to do is to look back on my old yearbooks. It’s always so fun to see how people have grown up and how things have changed throughout the years. My favorite part of a high school yearbook is looking at the superlatives for each senior class.
There are tons of categories: best dressed, most likely to become president, greatest hair, and so on. My senior year, I was voted “Most Likely to End Up on SNL”. I was known for making people laugh. Every opportunity I saw, I would use my sarcasm and whit to get a chuckle from the people around me.
Unfortunately, there were times when the things I said were not as funny as everyone thought. My sarcastic comments intended to cause laughter became words that cut others deep. I used to sacrifice someone else’s feelings for the sake of getting a laugh out of others. This wasn’t okay.
The Book of Wisdom says that “laughter is good medicine”, but it also teaches in over 30 different verses to be careful with our words and how we use them. Our words have power. That is why the things we say matter.
It says in Proverbs 21:23,
“Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.”
Calamity: an event causing great and often sudden damage or distress; a disaster.
There have been plenty of times that the words I have used led to disaster, whether it was the wrong timing or something I shouldn’t have said in the first place. My words have caused calamity in the lives of others and there have also been times that others have used their words to destroy me. But that is not what our words are for.
Our words should be used to encourage, build up, and give life to those that we are interacting with every single day! While this may come naturally to some people, it can be a real challenge for others – I know it is for me. God has had to do some serious work on my mouth and on my heart, which is why today I wanted to give a few encouraging tips for how to allow God to take control of your words…
-Invite Him to help! God loves when we talk to Him, so, if your words – or anything else for that matter – are a challenge for you, ask for His help!
-Compliment others! Stay away from surface-level compliments, but mention things you really admire about them! Their smiles, laugh, how they care for others – instead of picking out negatives of others, be intentional about seeing the good in them!
-Memorize verses that you can keep on the tip of your tongue when you are tempted to say something harsh, so that you can replace it with God’s word!