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UCB Word For You

Use words carefully

07 January 2022
‘If people never said anything wrong, they would be…able to control their entire selves.’

When it comes to our words, here are three rules: 1) Don’t speak too quickly. ‘We all make many mistakes. If people never said anything wrong, they would be perfect and able to control their entire selves, too’ (v.2 NCV). We can never know all the sensitivities a person has, so we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to direct our speech in a way that doesn’t tap into their pain or other negative experiences. Everyone has a different sensitivity level, depending on their past experiences, so we should try to give others the benefit of the doubt when they say something that could be misinterpreted. It may be that they had no intention to hurt, and didn’t realise the effect of their words. (But if they’re being deliberately offensive or hurtful, this needs to be dealt with.) 2) Don’t respond too quickly. ‘To answer before listening – that is folly and shame’ (Proverbs 18:13 NIV). Before we speak, we should listen carefully and make sure we understand what’s really being said. And if we don’t, we should say so. A need to ‘look good’ can cause us to lose respect if we’re afraid of admitting we don’t know or don’t understand something. 3) Don’t commit too quickly. Solomon wrote, ‘Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God’ (Ecclesiastes 5:2 NKJV). Then he went on to explain how we shouldn’t try to drop out of a commitment by saying we made a mistake. When we break a promise, we hurt people and forfeit their trust. So let’s pause before we speak, and if necessary, take time to pray. We can’t take back our words, so let’s take care in what we say.

What Now?

Find some Bible verses that give advice on how to use our words wisely. As you read, be open to what God’s teaching you through them. Is He prompting you about anything in particular?

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