The way we speak shows what’s going on in our hearts. ‘A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart’ (Luke 6:45 NLT). When we criticise others, use bad language, and accuse people, our hearts may be full of things like bitterness, resentment, jealousy, and anger. The Bible says: ‘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). To be able to speak encouraging and life-giving words to others, we need to make sure our hearts are full of positive and godly things. We need to think before we speak. We can run our thoughts through a mental filter – will it encourage someone? Will it build them up? Is it necessary? Is it coming from a good place? Just because we think something, doesn’t mean we have to speak it. Proverbs 29:11 says: ‘Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back’ (NLT). It can be hard to avoid speaking negatively towards others, and towards ourselves, but it’s so vital that we learn to control our speech. Words have power. And when we’re speaking negatively, we’re encouraging ourselves to stay in a negative place, we’re creating negative atmospheres. We’re knocking people down rather than building them up. The psalmist prayed: ‘May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord’ (Psalm 19:14 NIV). And this needs to be our pray each day too.
The next time you go to speak (whether that’s in person, on social media, or by sending a message), run your words through a mental filter first. Ask yourself whether your words will be encouraging to others and pleasing to God.
The UCB Word For You