Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Words of Life

I'm a writer. One of the things they tell writers in books about writing and at conferences is that you need to develop a thick skin. You need to be able to take criticism in all of its many forms. Your thick skin will allow some of what your critics say bounce off, not allowing them to take root.

And with good cause. Because some people don't think before they speak. Their words don't speak of truth, they aren't helpful, inspiring, necessary, or kind. They just hurt.

They condemn. They tear down, destroy, destruct. And most of the time, it's because those people are so damaged inside that the only way they feel good is when they're certain others don't. They feel elevated, better than thou, holier than thou. When in reality, they've blinded themselves to the truth of their own bitterness and heartache.

As Christians, it is our call to love others with the love of Jesus. Because Jesus did not come into the world to condemn us. He didn't come waving a "holier than thou" banner over our heads, setting up expectations that would never be achievable. No. He came to serve. To love. To heal. To speak truth. To set captives free. So that the world, through Him, might be saved. He laid down His life for all of humanity.

It's up to us to accept His gift of salvation.

And it's up to those of us who have to set examples for others, so they don't need to be thick-skinned and insensitive, unable to receive truth.

So this Resurrection season, let's THINK before we speak.

Is it TRUE? Does it line up with the Word of God? Would Jesus say something like that? Or is it just your emotional trauma speaking in the moment? If it is, hold your tongue. If it will bring life to the hearer, then by all means, share it.

Is it HELPFUL? Is what you're about to say going to further the recipient's walk with God or draw them to Jesus? Or is it going to drive them away from not only God but you too? Will you hinder their walk and become a stumbling block? Or are you going to encourage them. Be aware that some people don't need to be fixed; they need to be graced.

Is it INSPIRING? Will your words draw out the creator in them? Will they challenge them in a healthy way? Will they push them toward their dreams? Encourage the hope that is within them? Or will they crush the joy the person is struggling to hold onto? Be aware that there is power in the tongue. It can lead someone to life or it can kill their spirit.

Is it NECESSARY? Must you say it? Or could you just keep quiet? Proverbs 10:19 reminds us, "In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise."

Is it KIND? Jesus taught us the Golden Rule, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:31). If you wouldn't receive what you're about to say as kind, don't give it away. Allow the law of kindness to reside on your tongue. Remember that tone matters, as well as the words. It's easy to say something that would be perceived as kind in a tone that says it isn't.

Remember, Jesus came to bring us to salvation, not condemnation. The world would be a much more pleasant place if we chose to consider others and how our words will impact their hearts instead of running at the lips. Love someone today. Speak an encouraging or kind word to them. Be the light Jesus called you to be.


  1. Nice words of wisdom:) Happy Easter! ~Judy

  2. I know I've been guilty of not using words correctly...our tongue can get us into a lot of trouble. We really need to allow the Lord to work on that area of our lives. This is a great reminder of how to do just that. God bless your Easter week!


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