Read: Matthew 12:36-37

Words are powerful. With our mouths, we can hurt, curse, lie or say ungodly things. Sometimes we tend to use careless words when speaking to our spouse or child without knowing the real consequences behind the words we use. Careless words can discourage or cause hurt feelings to people you interact with. The Bible clearly says, “For every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt. 12:36). “And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matt. 5:22). As parents, you should be careful not to address our children as ‘fool’ or ‘idiot’ or any other demeaning words. You will be accountable for your actions on the judgement day. The Bible says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Prov. 18:21).

The mouth speaks the things of the heart. “The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but the lips of a fool shall swallow him up; the words of his mouth begin with foolishness, and the end of his talk is raving madness” (Eccl. 10:12-13). If your heart is pure, it will be reflected in your speech. We must also be very careful not to take the name of our Lord in vain (using phrases like OMG). Ex. 20:7 says, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

The Bible clearly says to talk less, as “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Prov. 10:19). It is a fool who multiplies his words (Eccl. 10:14). “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive” (Prov. 17:28). So it is better to be a slow speaker and a good listener, than giving your opinion all the time. Paul the apostle said, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Col. 4:6). You cannot praise God one day and with the same tongue curse another the next day (James 3). Christians wilfully do not practise sin. We must ask God to tame our tongues.

If you struggle in this area, ask God to help you and tell Him, “Lord, guard my lips, I need your help, convict me, help me think before I speak, make me more like Christ.” Use your words carefully, build up others and replace your grumblings with thanksgivings.

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