Five Simple Words

by Julie Summa 8. January 2019 19:22

Five simple words uplifted my day.

I have enjoyed playing racquetball for a long time. Because of my age, my current ability to play is not because of any agility or speed, but more because of well-placed shots. I play weekly with a group of guys who are very understanding of my limitations.

I was playing doubles a few weeks ago and our foursome included a new guy who was probably in his mid-forties. He was notably physically fit and more skilled than the rest of us on the court. As the match continued, I ran up to the front of the court, but I couldn’t run fast enough to make the shot. After missing the shot, I said, “That’s what happens when you are 61.” The new guy turned to me and said, “I never would have guessed.” Those five words were the most encouraging words I’d heard all day! I was revitalized to think that a relatively young, fit guy concluded I wasn’t as old as I really am!

Our words can both encourage and discourage. Throughout the Bible, God gives us guidance and instruction regarding our words…what we say, how we say them, and the attitude that accompanies our words.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29 (NASB)

Research says that on average, people speak about 7,000 words per day. With the sheer volume of our spoken words, we can easily slip up and say something destructive. We, as women, need to be extra careful how we choose our 7,000 words!

There is one who speaks rashly the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18 (NASB)

The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; the one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. Proverbs 13:3 (NASB)

God tells us there will be consequences to our sinful speech. However, pleasing God with our speech should be our motivation, not avoiding consequences.

But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. Matthew 12:36 (NASB)

One resource God provides us to help with our words is prayer. In fact, He is faithful and willing to help us with any sin in our life, especially when we recognize it as sin, confess it, and call out to Him for help. Praying specific, simple prayers regarding our speech, like the psalmists did, can result in lasting change.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14(NASB)

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3 (NASB)

Our harmful speech is often preceded by a sinful thought or motive. God’s Word is filled with guidance and truths about the best way to tackle our sinful thoughts, motives, and ultimately our words. Daily immersion into His Word is essential in the battle against our destructive tongue.

Consider asking yourself right before speaking, “What can I say to this person to encourage her (or him) today?” Strive to use your words to encourage, not discourage. Your children, parents, friends, boss, co-workers, and even racquetball partners all need your words of encouragement!

Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:6 (NASB)

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NASB)

 

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