Watch what you say, if you do not have anything nice to say then do not say anything at all, watch your mouth, think before you speak, choose your words wisely…these phrases and probably many others are things we have heard our parents, teachers, coaches, and other wise individuals say.  Before any of these people told us to be careful with what we say, God already was warning us to watch our mouths.  In the book of James, we are told how small our tongue is, yet this seemly small member of our body can do so much.  With our words we frame our lives, but not only our lives, our words can frame other people’s lives.  Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me, is a familiar phrase.  Most of us can testify that this phrase is a false claim, we simply know that words do hurt. In Ephesians 4:29, Paul warns the church about our words.  Out of the Passion Translation he tells the people, never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them.  In the world of social media today, it is so easy to let any and all people know what we are thinking. The great question that must be asked is this, is what I’m about to share going to encourage someone? Will my words build them up? Will what I say extend grace to the hearer, or will it cause harm, and tear down?  While some will argue that it is important that we voice our concerns, most of the time this is not what is happening.  For many of us, we just choose to spit out what we are thinking and deal with the mess our words make later.  This is one of the worst things we can do.  James tells us to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19).  Why?  I think we know the answer, but just in case, let me take a stab at why.   Treat others as you want to be treated, Luke 6:31.  How about this reason why, Your words are so powerful that they will kill or give life…, Proverbs 18:21.  Words, just like music, have a way of penetrating our hearts.  Jesus said that He himself didn’t speak or do anything without hearing or seeing what God the Father would say or do.  Think about that a second, Jesus in His humanity wanted to be quick to hear from God and not just speak what He was feeling.  Even in His humanity, He knew that it was important to choose His words wisely.  He knew that His words would either speak life or death. He knew His words could frame someone’s life and that frame could be a beautiful thing or it could lead to their destruction. What effect will your words have today?  Much love Pastor Michael

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