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UCB Word For You

Watch your words

20 April 2021
‘Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt.’

In Watchman Nee’s book The Normal Christian Worker, he devotes a whole chapter to our words, and how we communicate with others. He says: ‘Because of unrestrained speech, the usefulness of many Christian workers is seriously curtailed. Instead of being powerful instruments in the Lord’s service, their ministry makes little impact on account of the constant leakage of power through their careless talk.’ This reminder that we can hurt the impact of our efforts for God by talking carelessly is a stark one, and it really is that serious. As Proverbs 18:21 tells us, ‘the tongue has the power of life and death’ (NIV). It can be so easy to be careless with our words, to speak without thinking. We can also betray ourselves with our tone, our gestures, and our facial expressions. We have to remember, though, that all of those things can dramatically change that way that people see us and, by extension, the way they see God. It’s time for us to echo David’s prayer in Psalm 141:3-4: ‘Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips. Don’t let me drift towards evil’ (NLT). Those verses are worth memorising and repeating when we feel our words veering towards negativity. It’s also very worthwhile to check our attitude. Our words are fuelled by our thoughts, and our speech can’t run out of control unless our mind goes there first. That’s really where we need God to step in. We need His help to challenge our thoughts. Each time we find our mind or speech drifting towards negativity, we should stop ourselves and pray to God for ‘the renewing of [our] mind’ that we read about in Romans 12:2 (NIV).

What Now?

Spend some time looking into the numerous verses in the Bible that deal with our words. Pick one or two to memorise and use when you need it.

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