Proper Ways To Use Our Words

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14). The words that we use are an indicator of our spiritual health. How healthy are we? Remember, our speech reveals what kind of Christian we are.


Our words indicate how healthy we are spiritually. Click To Tweet


Even though, the tongue, is one of the smallest members of the body (James 3:5), it can do the most damage.  Have you ever had these words said to you? “You can’t do that.”  “You’ll never amount to anything.”  “You are so worthless” Or even worse, “You are stupid.” If you have, then you know the old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me” is completely untrue.  Wounds from sticks and stones can heal but often the wounds from words run deeper and are next to impossible to heal. Often, they need the Holy Spirit’s intervention.


Our words have the power to destroy and the power to build up (Proverbs 12:6). The writer of Proverb tells us, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21).  Are we using our words to build up people or to destroy them?


Think about what Proverbs 18:21 just told us: life and death are in our tongue. That means that our words will reflect either:

  • Love or Hate
  • Blessing or Bitterness
  • Compliments or Complaining
  • Love or Lust
  • Victory or Defeat

WOW! Do we see the potential of our words?



Why Are Words So Important?

  1. God created the universe with words. He spoke and it was so. (Genesis 1)
  2. Jesus was called THE WORD. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
  3. Because the sheer volume of words we speak is incredible. One study revealed that we could fill 66 books of 800 words in a year by what we say.
  4. “By your words you will be condemned and by your words you will be justified.” (Matthew 12:37.)


James 3:2-12

Good News Translation – V2b-5a – But if a person never makes a mistake in what he says, he is perfect and is also able to control his whole being. We put a bit into the mouth of a horse to make it obey us, and we are able to make it go where we want. Or think of a ship: big as it is and driven by such strong winds, it can be steered by a very small rudder, and it goes wherever the pilot wants it to go. So it is with the tongue: small as it is, it can boast about great things.


The Message – V5b-10 – 5-6 It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. 7-10 This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!


New International Version – V11-12 – 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.


What Are Some Of The Right Ways We Can Use Our Tongues?

(1) “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father” (James 3:9). This is something we need to do every day. – “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” (Psalm 150:6).

(2) To pray to God:

  1. For wisdom (James 1:5-6). Proverbs 10:31 says, “The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom.”
  2. “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray”. (James 5:13-16).
  3. For healing – “14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.” (James 5:14-15).
  4. For large requests (James 5:17-18). “17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.”
  5. For backsliders to be restored (James 5:19-20). “19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

(3) “Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.” (James 5:13).

(4) To witness for the Lord. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8. “The lips of the righteous nourish many.” Proverbs 10:21 That means that you can use your lips to help bring people to God. You can use your lips to give spiritual nourishment to other people.  “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.” Proverbs 11:30 — What have you been doing to become a tree of life where you work, at your school, to your friends, to your neighbors, to your loved ones?

(5) Encouragement. Paul writes (1 Thes. 5:11), “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25 How many of your words this last week were words of encouragement?

One of the best ways to be encouraging is to have your words full of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23 – 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.) And full of love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.)

  • Appreciation and gratefulness.
  • Loving words.
  • Patient words.
  • Kind words.
  • Gentle words.
  • Scripture that God has used in your life. – As an example, you could say something like: “A verse that God used in my life when I was discouraged was, …”


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Let’s Allow The Holy Spirit To Change our Words

(1) Let’s make a decision to commit our tongues to God so He can – probe our hearts and examine out intentions (Psalm 17:3 – Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed.).

(2) Because God has given us a warning of the outcome of how we use our words –  Matthew 12:33-37 — 33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”.

(3) And let’s remember to pray for the help that we need. – Psalm 19:14 – May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.; Psalm 141:3 – Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.


If you would like a reminder of how words can be used wrongly click this link.


“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”


Let’s work with God to change the words that we speak so we will indeed be edifying and encouraging others.


“Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel.” (Proverbs 11:17).


“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6).







How will you look for ways to be an encouragement to someone else this week?




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