Words mean things. Yet, it seems like many people do not choose their words carefully. That’s a shame because the fabric of relationships hinges on what we say to one another. Words either affirm or deny a person’s dignity, and dignity is the root of what we all want to feel.
What we say is connected to our hearts. Careful, deliberate words, as well as careless utterings, reflect and reveal what’s in our hearts. Whether you believe it or not, all of our words will be called to witness for or against us at the end of our life. We will be held accountable. Have you given any thought to how you will defend yourself? Everything we say can and will be used against us when we stand before God’s judgment seat. Sure, you can choose not to believe that however is that something for which you want to be wrong?
All words matter. Good vs. bad. Affirming vs. hurtful. Constructive vs. destructive. Public vs. private. Think about everything you’ve said in the dark and whispered in private rooms (both virtual and physical). Think about the careless words you’ve spoken that could be damning witnesses against you. The wisest thing you can do today is to come to terms quickly before you reach the court.
The point is:
- Words under self-control (a Fruit of the Spirit) can do great good. They can be a tree of life for others.
- Uncontrolled, foolish words can burn friendships, families, communities, careers and organizations to the ground.
Whether or not we take these words to heart says something very important about our hearts. We are either selfish or selfless, and our words reflect our heart’s posture. Selfishness values yourself over others. Selflessness values others above yourself. Selfishness desires to be served. Selflessness desires to serve. Selfishness tears down others’ dignity. Selflessness builds others up. Selfishnessness leans into ego and pride. Selflessness leans into empathy and humility.
Humility has been called “the ability to withhold from others the high opinion you hold of yourself” and “the art of wearing greatness gently.” More accurately, it is the result of the correct estimation of oneself under God’s authority.
Clothe your heart and words with humility. All words matter in relationships, in public and private spaces, and with online or in-person interactions. You will be held accountable for loving (and speaking to) your neighbor as yourself.