FAQ :: How important are the words we speak?

God left us with many Scriptures to be mindful about how we speak.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18.21a).

A person can destroy his own life and the life of others by what he says. That is why it is extremely important to watch what you say. The old saying, “If you do not have anything good to say do not say anything” is good advice. Instead of saying the first thing that comes to our minds and everything that follows we should choose our words wisely and carefully.

“He who guards his mouth keeps his life. He who opens wide his lips shall have destruction” (Proverbs 13.3).

James said the tongue is a “fire, an unrestrainable evil, full of deadly poison,” that no one can tame (James 3.6, 8).

We must also keep in mind that when we talk a lot we do not get much work done.

“In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty” (Proverbs 14.23).

If you want to make a decent living and serve the Lord as much as possible avoid idle chatter and concentrate on work. We must also keep our words few for another reason. If you do not know much about the topic that is being talked about do not say anything.

“Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips he is considered perceptive” (Proverbs 17.28).

Do not think that you have to say a lot or even anything at all to make people believe you are smart, wise or whatever. If you say very little and make short comments or statements that are correct and truthful most people will think you are a genius and very wise. While you stand or sit listening to the others speak you are learning. Eventually you will know more than everyone else and you will become the wise man that everyone seeks advice from.

Study the verses concerning this topic frequently and also study chapter three of James. The entire chapter is devoted to speech. It is a very powerful chapter. If you have a serious problem with controlling your tongue you may want to memorize the entire chapter.