“We choose our clothes more carefully than we do our words.”
– Rabbi Joseph Telushkin (Words that Hurt, Words that Heal)
I’d love to say think this isn’t the case, but sadly, I find Rabbi Telushkin’s words hold weight. My friends, this should not be. Words are so powerful! The very Earth we live on and the heavens we look to were created through words. God’s words of course, but words none the less.
People also create with words; they carry a heavy influence. With them, we can edify, encourage, inspire, and uplift.. or we can tear down, condemn, humiliate, and uproot. We can create an atmosphere of peace and safety or of chaos and suffocation. Our words matter!
Still need some convincing? Check out these 10 verses and prayers inspired (mostly) from the book of Proverbs that just scream, “YOUR WORDS MATTER!!”
7 Verses That Prove the Words You Speak Matter
1. Proverbs 10:32
“The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.”
Inspired Prayer: Lord, teach me what is acceptable according to Your Word. Guide me in the ways you call righteous.
2. 1 Peter 3:10
“He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.”
Inspired Prayer: Lord, teach me to refrain from speaking when the words I want to speak do not honor you. Let what flows from my mouth (and ultimately my heart) be rooted in truth.
3. Proverbs 12:18
“There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.”
Inspired Prayer: Lord, I know at times my words can be harsh and piercing, inflicting hurt on myself and those around me. Your word tells us that the tongue of the wise promotes health. So today I am asking for your wisdom to guide the words of my mouth. Help me to bring life and health to others (and myself) through the words that I speak.
4. Proverbs 15:1
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Inspired Prayer: It can be easy to get caught in the heat of the moment and let my words run with my emotions. But in doing that, I misrepresent you; I stir up anger and become a part of the problem. Lord, in those moments help me remember the wisdom you have given me here – “A soft answer turns away wrath.” Give me the strength to respond in your love and not my frustration.
5. Proverbs 16:32
“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”
Inspired Prayer: Lord, when I read Proverbs 16:32 I get the impression that you are more impressed with my self-control than you are with my physical might. You compare my ability to rule over my spirit to the strength of the man who takes a city, and you say I am greater! Right now, I don’t necessarily feel great. I don’t always walk in self-control like I should. But I know it (self-control) is I fruit of your Holy Spirit who is in me. I thank You, God for nurturing that seed you’ve placed in me and allowing it to grow and flourish so that I can honor you in the way I rule my spirit.
6. Proverbs 18:21
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue , and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Inspired Prayer: Lord, with my words you have given me the power to encourage life in (and around) me, or to encourage death. Through the help of your Holy Spirit I choose to walk in self-control and to let your Spirit rule over the words of my mouth. I choose to love life and to speak in a way that portrays that, always.
7. Proverbs 25:11
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”
Inspired Prayer: Lord, Your word tells us that a word fitly spoken is of great weight and value. Today I ask you for the wisdom to know when to speak and when to be silent. And when it is my time to speak, I pray for the wisdom hear what it is you have for me to share. Thank you for giving me words that rightly fit the ear of the hearer and the circumstance we are faced with.
Ruling our spirits and guarding our words are two tasks that should not be taken lightly. They are also two tasks that I KNOW I could never check off my “to do” list if it wasn’t for God lending me His strength and grace. When I feel myself slipping, I turn to this verses and start praying them over me the best way I know how.
What habits or tricks do you use to help keep your tongue under control?