Tuesday, February 21, 2017

5 Ways to Use Our Words for Good

5 Ways to Use Our Words for Good

 

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Ok … maybe I’m the only one who gets herself in trouble with her words.

Honestly, you would think after working on this issue for basically a lifetime, I’d be further along than I am!

Sunday, while in the car with my husband, he asked, “Why are you so quiet?” I wasn’t sure I wanted to be vulnerable at that moment; not sure he would get it.

I was quiet because I was scared.

Last week, the words that had come out of my mouth, words that weren’t malicious, just not thought all the way through, had hurt two people I love like crazy.

I was quiet, because I was afraid I would do it again; unintentionally use my words to wound.

So, friend, I’m writing 5 Ways to Use Our Words for Good this morning, because this is a study I desperately need.

Want to dig into God’s word with me? I think after seeing what He says, we can better watch what we say!

5 Ways to Use Your Words for Good

1. Bring Life.                                                                                                                                                                                                       Proverbs 18:21 tells us:  “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (ESV)

I have to remind myself continually of the power of my words. They have the ability to breathe new life into a person’s heart and at the same time to bring a final blow.

Lord, help me to bring life with my words today. 

2. Bring encouragement.

Paul encourages us in Ephesians 4:29: “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.”  (ESV) Corrupting isn’t a word we probably use often. It means spoiled, tainted, perverted. If what I am about to say spoils or taints the hearers mind-picture of another person or a situation, it’s not good. So I shouldn’t say it.

Lord, empower me to bring encouragement and build another person up today. 

3. Bring healing.

Every day brings with it plenty of hardships and hurts. When we run our words by the wisdom of God first, we can be a person who brings healing to others, rather than adding to those wounded places. “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18 (ESV)

Lord, use me and my words to deliver healing to a hurting heart today.

4. Bring health.

Is there someone I can bring a smile to, add a bit of sweetness to their day? By all means, do it! I once heard, “If you have a good thought or a compliment come through your mind, by all means, share it!” It is so easy to say, “I like your hair” or “You have a beautiful smile.” Share some sweetness today!

“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Proverbs 16:24 (ESV)

Lord, open my eyes to the one I can speak sweetness today!

5. Bring a soft answer.

Not every conversation we have can be wrapped up in a pink bow. If that was the case, it would mean sometimes we weren’t being honest, someone is doing some stuffing or both! (Not that I’ve ever done that! ) Yet, as we learn to be honest about our thoughts and feelings, we can do so in a way that is kind, gracious and gentle. Sarcasm nor screaming may feel good at the time, but I’ve seen it gets a gal nowhere. A respectful delivery of an honest word can help us to be heard.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 (ESV)

Lord, when I want to raise my voice in order to feel heard, remind me to speak respectfully today. 

Maybe we could use these reminders for more than just reading right now? If you’re like me, and you sometimes forget by noon what you read in the morning. Set an alarm on your phone to come back and review His words during lunch today or right before you get to serve someone. The more we get His words in our hearts, the more His words will be the words we say.

Which one of these “for good” steps stands out most to you today? I’d love to hear in the comments below. 

Lynn

Comments

  1. Wow, the Lord was speaking through you this morning. I am a 6th grade.teacher, and I definitely need this reminder throughout my day. Thank you.

  2. I need to work to bring a soft answer. My husband always tells me I don’t realize my tone when I speak and it isn’t a soft one, for sure! This will be my goal for today and keep trying in the days that follow.

    • Lynn Cowell says:

      Mandi, I first started using this one with my kids. The more they would raise their voice, the softer I got. At first, they were so irritated. They wanted me to yell back at them.

      Even though they are all young adults today, I still do the same thing when conversations get heated. God, of course, being so wise, knew exactly what would work when our emotions kick in!

  3. The gossip mill at work is alive and strong and your reminders today will help me “combat” it. Thanks!

  4. My heart is heavy this morning from thoughtless, self centered words I spoke in the past that caused great pain to my beloved husband. God placed your words before me today to draw me closer to Jesus and open my heart to let the Holy Spirit work within me.

    • Lynn Cowell says:

      The wonderful thing I have seen in my life, Martha, is that when we humble ourselves and ask for forgiveness, God can soften another’s heart to forgive us too. Lord, open the doors of restoration in Martha’s marriage as she asks her husband to forgive her. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  5. susan mallonee says:

    Thank you Lynn – I needed to hear these words. I try to be an encourager but some of my biggest regrets are for the times when I did not speak up and just went along with the crowd. We can hurt by what we say but we can also hurt by not speaking at all when words of caring and compassion could have made all the difference.

    • Lynn Cowell says:

      So very, very true, Susan!

      Just yesterday in my prayers, I asked the Father to give me the wisdom I need to know when to be bold and when to wait.

  6. Sarah Liddy says:

    To bring a soft answer. Most times its easy to yell back if you are spoken to in the same tone. I have found that if I speak softer and calmer it sometimes comes back to me in the same manner. I need to work on this and continue to pray for the opportunity to be more calm and soft spoken

  7. Robin Dunaetz says:

    To bring a soft answer in honesty and truth…

  8. Gail Giaimo says:

    Awesome Lynn!!! Loved all 5 ways we can edify and encourage and bring life! This also utilizes all of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and guards us against ways we can unwittingly cause hurt and misunderstandings. I really needed this so much… can’t thank you enough. I have been shying away from relationships with other women and now I don’t need to be afraid… thank you for providing scriptural ways to keep us mindful of our tongues!

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