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“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” Proverbs 12:18

Words have such a powerful ability to bless or wound. We need to watch with diligence what we say. The wrong words, especially at the wrong time have the ability to hurt both those who speak and those who hear them.

Stop and think about how marvelously God has created us. The ability to verbalize is granted only to man, who was created in the image of God. We need help in exercising this power responsibly.

Wars have been started over words. Marriage and families have split and fractured relationships because of words. Though the world applauds quick-witted retorts, God tells us to be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.” (James 1:19).

We need to make a conscious effort for our speaking (and listening) to come under the control of the Holy Spirit. When positive speech patterns and habits replace negative speech patterns and habits, we will be amazed with the increase of our joy.

Paul, writing to the Church at Ephesus reminds them, and us to “not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)

Listen. Wait. Respond.

How many of our conflicts would dissolve or never even materialize if we:

Listen to really understand a person’s concern or complaint,

Wait till our typically wrong initial impulse passed, until we’ve prayed, until we’ve asked clarifying questions,

And then we respond with patience, graciousness, honesty, clarity, and, if possible, brevity?

When used wisely and cautiously, words can often be the best blessings we can give to anyone.

By John Grant

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