Do you ever go to craft fairs or artisan shows? They tend to pop up close to the holidays. I attended one a few years ago with a girlfriend and saw a hand-painted sign I strongly considered purchasing for myself. I know, I know, at Christmas time you shouldn’t be buying things for yourself, which is why I didn’t buy it, but I wish I did. It read “Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.” Now do you see why I felt like I needed that sign?
Many of us say things first and think second. It isn’t a lovely trait to possess and God has graciously been working with me on that issue for more years than I’ll admit. My mother used to say if it goes through my mind it comes out my mouth and doesn’t slow down anywhere in between. Apparently, more people have a problem with this concept than just me, because God painted His own sign on this topic and He hung it in Psalm 141:3. It reads “Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” It may not be as comical as the sign I saw at the artisan show, but the point is still the same…we need to guard our words, choosing them carefully.
Proverbs 18:21 says “The tongue has the power of life and death” which is pretty powerful. The words we speak either bless and build others up or curse and tear others down. The choice is ours. We can make excuses for our words: “I was just tired; I didn’t mean it.” Or we can play them off as a joke: “I was just kidding.” The fact remains there is power in the spoken word. God created the heavens and the earth through the spoken word and He is very clear about the words we need to speak [Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 22, 24, 26, and 28].
Romans 12:14 says “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” Even when people treat us poorly, we are to bless them. By doing so, we stand out. It is so unusual, people will have to ask why and then we have a captive audience to share the Gospel.
Many call Christmas one of the most stressful times of the year. We have the opportunity to change that for people by blessing them. Speak life. Speak love. Speak hope. Whatever you speak, remember the power of your words.