W is for Words – Wise or Wicked?

Words - Proverbs 18: 21
Choose Your Words Wisely

Words are powerful.

Recently, I wrote K is for Kill, and everything in me begged to soften that un-Christian title. I still REALLY dislike having K is for Kill on Single Mom Smiling!

But I kept it because it shows the how cutting words can be; I couldn’t soften the message by softening the title because,

Word ARE Powerful

They are used to hurt and heal, to cast invisible stones and extend olive branches, to inflict deep wounds and smooth rough patches in shaky relationships.

The Bible has a lot to say about the power of our words and how we choose to use them. Proverbs tells us repeatedly, in one form or another, to guard our words.

The words of the wicked are a deadly ambush,

but the speech of the upright saves them.

Overthrow the wicked and they are no more,

but the house of the just stands firm.

Proverbs 12: 6-7

And yet, despite this, I’ve often regretted the words I’ve chosen,

and I’ve often regretted choosing to not utter a single word.

Words In Marriage & Family

How many times in my marriage did I quickly and fluently say things I regretted later?

How many times did I stumble my way through an apology or wait until it was too late?

I excuse my words by saying I didn’t say anything worse than most people. I remember standing on line at the grocery store shortly after my husband left. There was an older couple at the deli counter, and the woman was openly berating her silently seething husband. I stood open-mouthed thinking, “I would never have spoken to my husband like that!”

But that can’t be all there is! I may not have been quite that wicked, but I was far from perfect, and in that imperfection was my own wickedness.

How many times have I used hurtful words? How many times have I been the “wicked,” laying a “deadly ambush” of words for a loved one?

I can’t count how many, in part because I don’t want to, but God totals the hurtful words we utter, and He keeps track. We must be accountable for our hurtful words because God loves the targets of our words in a way we never can.

Hurtful words hurt God’s creation.

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak.

(Matthew 12:36)

I hope I have learned my lesson. I hope that if the opportunity for remarriage ever presents itself, that I will choose my words more carefully and choose a partner who does the same.

In the meantime, I practice wise words with my children who imitate what they hear. By choosing my words wisely, especially when I am angry, I can contribute to the person God intends them to be rather than detracting from that person, and they can more easily overthrow the wickedness of negative words and build their houses to stand firm.

Dr. Phil often says, “It takes 1,000 “Atta boys” to overcome one, “You’re worthless and no good.” 

That’s an awful lot of Attaboys! I have enough to do without keeping track of how many Attaboys I’ve given. I’d rather speak slowly and wisely and not have one more thing to keep track of. It’s a good lesson for us all.

Your Turn to Share:

Which is worse, saying something you should have kept in or keeping something in that should have been said? Can you give examples? Thanks for sharing.

God Bless…

2 thoughts on “W is for Words – Wise or Wicked?”

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