“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14………..
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Eph. 4:29………..
“Thank you for your words of encouragement,” a dear friend wrote me one day in response to my calling and writing her to offer her love, hope, encouragement, and, most importantly, scriptures from God’s Word. She had just gone through one of the toughest losses a human ever goes through, and undoubtedly she needed more love, encouragement, and comfort than ever.
It turns out in that exact same time period, I had several other people I knew going through great losses, along with several others going through great trials, and then countless others with whom I cross paths in ministry who faced their own hurts, hardships, and hurdles, etc. I was being given an amazing opportunity over and again to minister to friends and strangers alike, and, very specifically, to encourage them. To encourage them to repent and believe in Jesus as Lord, to encourage them to follow Him if they already had or once they did, and to encourage them to press on in their everyday lives no matter what they faced, good or bad, easy or hard, absolutely whatever, in God’s love in God’s strength by God’s grace for God’s glory. And so it was that my friend’s words to me, thanking me for my words of encouragement, were a wonderful reminder to me, and I hope to you, and to many others, about the vital importance of how we use the words we speak from our mouths, along with the words we write with our hands and pens and keyboards.
I have loved words for as long as I can remember, which is no surprise given my calling to write and speak and minister to people. But I have a long history of having my heart filled with sin, and of using my words for anything and everything but encouragement. I have hurt people with my mouth time and again, or at the very least not helped them. But my friend’s words to me reminded me of God’s command to His followers regarding words.
He is very clear in His Word about how He wants us to NOT use words, i.e. for idle words, for hatred and bitterness, for cursing people, for lying and anger, etc., and He makes it abundantly clear how He commands us TO USE WORDS. For love and edification and encouragement, to share the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, to help people love and follow Him, to praise and worship and adore Him, etc.
When it comes to others, He very specifically commands us to ENCOURAGE and edify and comfort people. As the world worsens, as the Bible clearly says it is and will continue to do before ultimately Christ’s return and forever reign, people more than ever are in need of the Lord Jesus Christ and of seeing and hearing and reading words that show forth and shine and reflect and display the love and mercy and encouragement of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Spirit of God ever reminds me when I sin in my heart, actions, and, yes, words, He leads me to repentance whenever I have used words wrongly, and He more and more as I grow closer to Him and ever grow in His image helps me to learn how to use words to encourage others.
Please consider carefully the words you use. Repent when you use them wrongly, be sensitive to God’s Spirit as He teaches you how to use them rightly, study and use the Bible as your road map for how to love and encourage others, and may the words you speak and write be pleasing to God and a loving godly encouragement to others!