Fewer Words

Do you have a tape recording in your head filled with phrases from childhood? Even though he’s been gone since 2010, I can still hear my dad call out my name and some of his inspiring words still bring encouragement. Words are a lasting and powerful form of influence.

Words can also sting.

Whoever said that sticks and stones can break bones, and claimed that “words can never hurt” must never have experienced the blow of an unkind word. Because the reality is that words can be more painful than sticks or stones.

Proverbs really nails it when it says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue . . .”

My spiritual focus this year is exalting Christ. One aspect that has been continually brought to mind is my need to speak less, listen more, and use my words carefully. With that in mind, I’m pulling out a few old posts and using them to preach to myself this week. I hope they’ll speak to you as well.

Here’s a few questions to get us started thinking about how we’re using our tongues:

♥  Do you plan for your daily communication? Do you think about how you can bless those you’ll be speaking with (especially your family members!)?

♥  Do you “guard your mouth” or do you let whatever comes to mind fly out (Prov. 21:23)?

♥  While in conversation, are you lifting up silent prayers for discernment and direction to know how to answer, how to bless, how to encourage?

♥  Are you known as an encourager?

♥  Does the fruit of the Spirit affect how you speak to others?

♥  What Scripture best describes your typical verbiage?

♥  Could this be said of you (Prov. 31:26)?

♥  What Scriptures have you adopted (or will you adopt) to help you with your communication?”

Below are a few verses on communication that might be good to commit to memory:

[box]“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18)[/box]

[box]“The instruction of the wise is like a life-giving fountain; those who accept it avoid the snares of death.” (Proverbs 13:14)[/box]

[box]“A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)[/box]

[box]“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)[/box]

Let’s pray for one another today in this area. May we have Ephesians 4:29 types of conversations today:

[box]“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”[/box]

Is communication something you struggle with?

I would love to hear any of your answers or thoughts!

Image courtesy of photostock/


  • Barbara J. Lange

    I have spent most of my adult life ‘breaking the spirit’ of my children and husband by not bridling my tongue. I am thankful for God’s grace and forgiveness and for my family’s unconditional love, as well.

    I was a single mom for 8 years and felt like I had to be ‘tough.’ I did not want the world walking all over me, nor my children. I realized that I bought into the wrong message. Jesus was not tough with everyone he met, just the religious leaders who mocked his Father.

    Empty-nesting gives me a new chance to bathe my husband with words of grace. He is such a wonderful gift, but I often magnified the negative qualities and overlooked the good. This led to a bitterness growing inside my heart. We have become so close now that I realize the power of my words. My words were mostly breaking his spirit and stirring up anger. I pray today my words can bring healing and be a life-giving fountain! I am so thankful for a chance to start over!

    Thanks, Kimberly, for doing this series!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Oh, Barbara, thank you so much for sharing so candidly and allowing us to experience some of your life story. God is so faithful. I’m thankful He is giving you and your husband sweet years of unity and joy. May you continue to see much fruit as you continue to press into God’s amazing grace!