Words are powerful things. They have the power of life and death. God chose to reveal himself to man in words. Much of the impact we have on others comes through our words. So, realizing how powerful our words can be, what kinds of things do you say to others?

What we say reflects the contents of the heart. Like a treasure chest, each soul stores up ideas, attitudes, wishes, and agendas. From this storehouse of feelings, emotions, and ideas, we pour forth our words. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. What kinds of things come from your heart and out your mouth?

What we say can turn others toward unity ordivision. James says the tongue of an infl uential person is like a bit in a horse’s mouth or the rudder of a great
ship. The words spoken by a person of influence can turn the lives and actions of people in any direction. Do the things you say turn others toward love and unity, or do they incite bitter feelings and division?

What we say can tear others down. Berating people, denigrating people, insulting people, and impugning their character can wound people deeply and discourage them. Slandering people and speaking hatefully
to people can damage them spiritually. What do YOU say?

What we say can build people up. Our words can heal, encourage, edify, and give hope. Our words can be like cool water in the desert heat. They can bring
relief and respite. When people hear what you have to say, do they have a better day? Do your words move people to become more hopeful and trusting of God, or do they make people more depressed and cynical?

What we say can draw others toward Christ. Paul urged people to let their speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt. Such speech conveys concern and kindness and respectfulness. It makes people want to hear more. When Peter urged the Christians to always be ready to give an explanation for their faith, he told them to do it “with gentleness and respect.” Such words
open doors and create additional opportunities to teach people. What we say can distort the truth of God and lead others to sin. Off color jokes that make light of sin leave the impression that sin is not serious. Emotional arguments that call Scripture into question can lead others into doubt. At times, the voicing of our own desires to do harm, or to act on our greed or our lusts can lead others into sin. What do YOU say?

What we say can echo the truth of God. Peter said, “If any man speaks, let him speak as it were the oracles of God.” Our words can be conduits of divine truth. When we speak of our love for Christ, our faith in his resurrection and his coming, and our faith that his word will always tell us what is right, we speak what other wandering souls need to hear. Are your words the voice of
truth, or the harbingers of confusion and doubt?

What do YOU say? Jesus said that we shall give an account for every idle word in the day of judgment. The Savior said, “By your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.”