“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”— Proverbs 12:18
Several years ago a professor at the University of Pennsylvania was known for giving boring, cliché-ridden lectures. At the beginning of one semester, an innovative class breathed new life into his course by assigning baseball plays to each overused phrase.
For example, “on the other hand” was a base hit; “by the same token” was a strikeout; “and so on” was a stolen base. Divided into two teams by the center aisle of the lecture hall, the students throughout the term played inning after inning of silent but vigorous baseball.
On the last day of class, the impossible happened – the score was tied, the bases were loaded, and the batter hit a home run! The winning team stood and cheered wildly. Though deeply appreciative, the professor was quoted later as having wondered why only one-half of the students had been enthusiastic about his lectures.
It’s easy to forget about the effect our words have on others. They can lift up, tear down, or as many of the professor’s students learned, bore to death.
The Bible treats the tongue as the most powerful organ in the body. Something that can do great good but also something that can do great damage. Your words have the power to breathe life into someone’s day.
People are listening, and God’s entrusted you to speak. So how will you use your words today?
Ask God to give you the discipline to use your words wisely. Pray that what comes out of your mouth would draw others nearer to Christ.
Questions for thought
Who are some people in your life that you could encourage today with your words?
Are there times when choosing not to speak can be as devastating as saying something hurtful? Why do you think that is?