If you have nothing good to say, it’s better to say nothing at all.
God’s Word puts it this way:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29).”
In these days when we’re spending more time with each other in close quarters, it’s important to remember: words can build up, and words can tear down.
So, be careful with your words.
God gave us the book of Proverbs to teach us how to live. And it has plenty to say about our words…
“The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing (Proverbs 12:18).”
Look at the amazing power of our words!
Reckless words – words spoken in haste, in anger, in frustration, irritation, or carelessness – can pierce our loved ones like swords…
Ever been pierced by a word-sword? The wound can cause you to bleed emotional pain and sometimes can take a long time to heal.
As a husband and father, the last thing I want to do is wound my wife and children. And yet, my reckless words did just that at different times in my life. And those are the times I regret the most…
“…but the tongue of the wise brings healing (vs. 18b)”
Conversely, our wise words also have amazing power to heal!
“I love you, honey.”
“I’m proud of you, son.”
“I forgive you.”
“Please forgive me.”
“I love how you…”
These words are so powerful… And when said sincerely by a father, mother, sibling, or roommate – they can truly heal us like nothing else in the world.
Here’s a few more gems to ponder:
“A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1).”
“A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
and how good is a timely word (Proverbs 15:23)!”
“Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones (Proverbs 16:24).”
“The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,
and whoever has understanding is even-tempered (Proverbs 17:27).”
Let’s be gentle, timely, gracious, and restrained with our words – especially these days as we’re under stay-at-home orders because of the virus and we’re spending more time at home together.
Let’s use this time to build each other up – not tear each other down.
Is it time to say, “I’m sorry”, and start over?
You’ll be glad you did.