In Ephesians 4:29 it says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” How many of us praise the Lord with the same mouth we speak curses from?
Some of you may say, “I don’t speak curses to anyone.” I used to feel that way too. I never intentionally spoke words with the purpose of hurting another, but I’ve spoken words to someone and then said, “I’m just teasing you.” Those words hurt. Those words were not building up. Those words were curses, even when I didn’t mean for them to be. Think about your words. The old playground chant “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a lie.
Words hold power. You have the ability to bless or curse someone with what comes out of your mouth each time you speak. Not only do your words bless or curse others, but they have the same impact on you. Proverbs 12:18 says, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Dr. William Purkey was a professor of mine at UNC Greensboro. He did research on the spoken word and determined for every negative word spoken to someone, it would take 12 positives spoken to them to bring them back to zero. Think about that the next time you are prepared to speak negatively to or about someone. Think about that the next time you start to say something negative to or about yourself.
We are called to speak words that build up, not tear down. We are called to speak words that benefit others. It wouldn’t hurt to try and apply the 101 Percent Principle. You find one thing you admire about someone and then give them 100% encouragement for it.
You have a choice. You can choose to be a burden or a blessing to others. To quote one of my favorite songs, “Choose to be a blessing for life.”