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Lately, I have been acutely aware of the power of words. Matt. 12:36 has been ringing in my head a lot.

But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”

That is serious. The way we talk to one another really does have implications on our lives. The words you and I speak to each other truly can set us on one of two different paths. 

If we use words that lack grace and are filled with poison, our path will be filled with potholes and extremely tumultuous.

But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God” (James 3:8-9).

It doesn’t take much to throw us off course. How many of us have been in a place where we were praising and worshiping the beauty of who God is and then, within half a day, we lost our minds on someone because they made us angry? I have.

I’m not trying to justify that kind of behavior. I’m simply stating that God’s Word was proven right. The only one who can tame the tongue is the Holy Spirit. If God doesn’t control our mouths the results will be that we spew restless evil to everyone around us. You don’t have to be a follower of Jesus to recognize this conduct will end badly for everyone involved. 

On the other hand, if we use words that are seasoned with grace, our path can and will be a much more fruitful.

The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” (Prov. 16:23-24).

You don’t have to cave on your convictions in order to have gracious speech. When we communicate with the goal of redemption and reconciliation, our talk will sound different. It won’t be short, hurtful and mean. Rather, it will long to see men and women find grace.

Christians have an ability to use their theological understanding about the things of Jesus Christ in such a way that it sometimes feels like the Miley Cyrus song “Wrecking Ball.” We just blast into a conversation sometimes and destroy everything, because we have the desire to be right. 

I honestly think we need to change our approach. We need to use our words as a skilled surgeon uses a scalpel with the desire to see healing and people being put back together. When we have “judicious speech,” it brings sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Allow the words we use this holiday season to be filled with grace and humility and see where God will take us.