Our ability to speak is the predominant feature that separates us from animals. Yet as humans we often apply a savagery to our use of language that places us a lot closer to the same creatures that we are so desperate to distinguish ourselves from.
Words are powerful.
They can encourage or discourage; they can hurt or heal;
We are reminded in Proverbs 18:21 NLT that, “The tongue can bring death or life;”
Conclusion: We must use it wisely.
It is also worth noting that wisdom does not come naturally to us.
Many of us are super-confident in our own abilities to the extent that we foolishly consider ourselves to be wise.
But the Bible is clear, “All wisdom comes from God.” Proverbs 2:6 CEV
Therefore, we ought to ask God not only for wisdom to use our words appropriately, but also for the wisdom to wait.
Let’s face it. Our words can easily and quickly get away from us.
The coworker that isn’t pulling his or her weight on that project;
The recalcitrant child whom you seem to reprimand every hour on the hour;
The person who swerves into the parking space you’ve clearly indicated that you are waiting for;
These people push our buttons we say and so we let them have it.
The problem is, once words leave our mouths, they cannot be recalled.
No amount of apologizing can erase the damage done by harmful words.
So we need to decide.
Are we going to be puppets on a string, being controlled by the enemy?
Or will we ask God for self-control; for wisdom to wait and to know what to say when it is time to respond?
Consider that while Jesus was on earth he was the subject of malicious thoughts and actions, of ridicule and unfair treatment to put it mildly.
Yet, He did not respond to everything that was meant to provoke, nor did He allow Himself to be pulled into the mindgames His enemies wished to play.
But when He did speak, His words were tempered with the Father’s wisdom. Something that would have been unachievable had He not had a connection to God.
Friends, we can correct our children while making it evident that we care.
We can express our concerns to our peers without losing our cool.
We can walk away from situations that do not warrant an immediate response.
All of this is possible with God.
Today, before we speak let us ask ourselves, will what we say:
tear someone down, or build them up?
express our concern or show conceit?
point someone to Jesus or turn them away?
So let us try waiting on God. He will direct us when we ought to speak and give us just the right words to say.