2 minute read.
Words spoken in love aren’t offensive.
When we use harsh words, it’s like clashing cymbals to the hearer. Speaking with love means thinking about the other person first. Instead of saying whatever is on your mind, you stop and think about how it will sound to the other person.
“When someone repeatedly uses words to demean, frighten, or control someone, it’s considered verbal abuse.” Ann Pietrangelo, Healthline
Words do matter. What you say affects people, whether you believe it does or not. One of the first statistics I learned in my coaching career involved words. When I speak to a child, they retain 80% of what I say. However, I only remember 20% of the words I use. Learning this information made me more aware of the words I use. Instead of focusing on the negative, I highlight the positive. If my words aren’t encouraging and uplifting, I don’t say them.
Check your language.
Before a word leaves your lips, ask yourself a question. “Is what I’m about to say uplifting and encouraging?” If the answer is no, don’t say the words.
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (Ephesians 4:29 NLT)
For Lent this year, I gave up swearing. For every slip, I paid $1 to the swear jar. At the end of the 40 days, I had accumulated $161, which I donated. As much as I watch my language, I still have work to do.
We all do. Only Jesus mastered the language of love. Each day, we have an opportunity to try again. To the best of your ability, speak all things in love.
Lord, thank You for giving us guidelines of how we are to speak. Forgive us for using harsh words that demean and criticize others. Help us today to monitor our comments. If what we’re going to say isn’t uplifting and encouraging, don’t let us say it. Let the Holy Spirit prompt us from within when we’re about to say something verbally abusive. Close our mouths when our words are like clashing cymbals to the hearer. Let us today speak all things in love. IJNIP. Amen
Question for reflection
Is your language uplifting and encouraging?