The Importance of the Words We Speak
There is a saying, “One word pays back a huge debt.” It means that the impact of a single word is great. God has also taught us many lessons about the importance of words.
Let’s find out through the Bible.
1. A Word is like a mirror that reflects what is in our hearts
“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” Mt 12:33–35
Jesus said that a good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and that an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. Good people resemble God’s character and they always speak good words while giving thanks and glory to God. Whereas evil people speak evil words and are rude to others. We must always remember the teaching that what we say originates in our hearts, make efforts to resemble God’s good character, and learn to speak only good words.
2. Ungracious words bring about evil results
We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. . . . Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. Jas 3:2–6
The tongue is like fire. A small spark can set a tree on fire, and burn up the whole forest in the end. In the same way, a single word can lead to great sins. It can also diminish the faith of those around us, bringing about bad results. We must always be careful with our words so that we may be perfect in the eyes of God.
3. We can either dishonor or glorify God, by our words
“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Mt 5:16
Sometimes unbelievers can come to believe in God, being moved by our words and deeds. One good word we speak can glorify God, but one rude word can dishonor Him. We must set good examples to unbelievers by always speaking good words, so that they may give praises and glory to God.
God repeatedly emphasizes the importance of words. We are created for the glory of God (Isa 43:7). Let us glorify God and please Him by always speaking gracious and good words.
- Food for Thought
- What kinds of words do good and gentle people speak?
- Explain how the tongue is like fire
- Let’s think about instances where the impact of words was felt.