Studies show that the average person speaks at least 7,000 words a day. Some of you, who are a little chattier, may say more than that, by some estimates upwards of 24,000 words a day. That’s a lot of talking.
However many words you use they drastically affect your life. With your mouth you can speak love and hate, encouragement and discouragement, godliness and wickedness, sometimes within the same conversation.
We’ve all struggled with the slip of the tongue at one time or another. I find that our enemy, the devil, loves to use our words and the words of others to try and penetrate our hearts. This is where the old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is totally untrue.
Words can hurt because that’s how the enemy wants it. But that’s not how God wants it.
In a culture where words are used as weapons, it’s important that we understand what God has to say about our words.
Here are fifteen proverbs about your words. Be sure to take them to heart.
- Proverbs 10:11 (NIV)
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
- Proverbs 10:19 (NLT)
Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
- Proverbs 11:9 (NIV)
With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors, but through knowledge the righteous escape.
- Proverbs 11:13 (NLT)
A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.
- Proverbs 12:18-19 (NLT)
Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed.
- Proverbs 12:22 (NIV)
The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.
- Proverbs 13:3 (NIV)
Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
- Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
- Proverbs 16:24 (NIV)
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
- Proverbs 17:9 (NIV)
Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
- Proverbs 18:6-8 (NLT)
Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels; they are asking for a beating. The mouths of fools are their ruin; they trap themselves with their lips. Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.
- Proverbs 18:20 (NLT)
Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction.
- Proverbs 19:1 (NIV)
Better the poor whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.
- Proverbs 21:23 (NIV)
Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.
- Proverbs 27:2 (NIV)
Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.