Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person – Colossians 4:6
‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’. We’ve all heard this old adage taught to children, hoping they may not be distressed over the teasing of the ruthless peer. What truth is there in this saying? What is the power of a word? Scripture is clear, the words we choose possess great power indeed. There is power to draw sinners to the light; however, there is another, more nefarious power in our words, the power to pervert the gospel. There is power to bring the kingdom of our Lord into disrepute among those who have no knowledge of the gospel of Christ.
Proverbs 15 states – A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. Matthew Henry makes note “A good tongue is healing, healing to wounded consciences by comforting them, to sin-sick souls by convincing them, to peace and love when it is broken by accommodating differences, compromising matters in variance, and reconciling parties at variance; this is the healing of the tongue, which is a tree of life.” With such a small muscle, we possess a healing power, one which can draw the lost to a great Savior and mend a hurting brother or sister. The same muscle, however, has a power to corrupt, to cause real, irreversible pain, and malign the name of our God. Therefore, Jesus is sharp in his warning to us in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 12 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.
How will you be found today? Will you be a river of living water for those who need to be pointed to our Savior? Or will you be counted with the fool, pouring out folly?
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You