Remember that saying in grade school, “I’m rubber, you’re glue, everything you say bounces off of me and sticks to you”?
I think it taught us that words don’t matter very much, or we tried to tell ourselves that at least. But what we didn’t realize is that words can potentially do more harm than physical pain can. Physical pain will heal, but harsh words can affect us forever.
Jesus tells us in Matthew that we will have to give an account for every empty word we speak.
Now I know more than anyone that choosing the correct words and being slow to speak are incredibly difficult without practice and the Holy Spirit. But our words have as much power as a sword, either bringing life and good health or death and destruction to ourselves and others.
Once we say something harmful to someone, we cannot take it back. It matters what you say and how you say it.
I know that when I give someone even the smallest compliment, it can change their entire day. Even a simple smile can affect them more than you could ever know.
It takes work, it can be very hard, and we won’t always get it right. But we need to pray about it and practice how we speak to others. Even the way we speak to ourselves. I bet you don’t even realize how many times you judge yourself and others throughout the day.
We have to find our worth in Christ, and begin to love ourselves the way He loves us so we can love others the way God intended. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to remind you when you have a negative thought towards yourself or others, and then work on changing it the next time.
We have to hold our thoughts captive, put them in their place, and then replace them with God’s promises and thoughts about us.
Our words matter and will affect the things around us very deeply. We don’t have to have the final word or give everyone our opinion on things. I am so guilty of this myself. I usually always have something to say, especially if I disagree about the subject. Our flesh wants to argue and try to prove our point, but we are instructed to die to our flesh daily.
I challenge you to avoid writing that negative post, avoid arguing with someone, and avoid sharing your opinion on everything you disagree with. Instead, pray when you want to lash out or correct someone. Instead of becoming angry, try and show them love as the alternative. It will get better with practice and you will feel better in the end by avoiding the conflict.
We have to fight to become the person God created us to be. It is a battlefield in our minds. But oh how wonderful it feels to win those negative battles within us.
Instead of avoiding a person when you do say something you regret, start the victory process by going to that person and apologizing for your actions. You won’t become perfect overnight, but you can get better with each choice you make.
In a country full of division, hate groups, false promises, and politics, our words may matter more than they ever have before. And sometimes not saying anything at all is the best “word” we can provide.
I encourage you to read and study these verses:
“Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel.”
- Proverbs 11:17
“Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
- Proverbs 15:4
“Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
- Proverbs 16:24
“Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow.”
- Proverbs 25:18
“It is foolish to belittle a neighbor; a person with good sense remains silent”
- Proverbs 11:12
Hannah Smith, author of the Moving Mountains blog, is an accomplished individual who has experienced a lot of life in her 29 years.
At 19 years old, Hannah joined the Army. After moving around the country, she landed back where God wanted her in Ohio, even though she fought the whole way. She is now in charge of the prayer team at her church and seeks the Lord with all she’s got.
Hannah is married and a RN, but works as a stay-at-home mom to her daughter, Isabella, and her son, Grayson.
She loves to hike, travel, drink coffee, and talk about Jesus. Hannah also has a heart to create a home and life in which she can be a safe place for the hurting and the broken.
To her readers, Hannah says, “I believe that God set every single one of you reading this apart, for such a time as this. It is my hope and prayer that God would use the words I say to change your life in a way you and I never thought possible!”