By Daniel Fleet
The words that we use are powerful and they have an impact on those around us. A hammer can be used to tear things down or build things up and our words are no different. The words we speak, text, or write can be used to nurture, heal, and protect, or, they can be used to ruin, tear down, and destroy. How you use your words will determine how successful you are in the relationship with your wife, kids, family, and co-workers.
So what can you do today to improve your words?
1. Listen before you speak
As a general rule it is always best to listen and then talk. Too many of us cut people off and answer them before they are finished speaking. The Bibles instructs us, “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak.”
Listening before you speak allows the other person to know that you value them and they will be more receptive to your input accordingly. Also, listening to others gives you time to think and choose your words more carefully.
2. Use your words to encourage rather than criticize
Being critical of others is second nature to most people. It’s easy to find fault and cut others down. Criticism has it’s place but it rarely makes peoples lives better or you happier for giving it. Proverbs tells us, “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.” In other words, people have enough difficulty in their life without you piling on. Use your words to offer encouragement and watch their countenance change. You will be amazed at the difference a kind word can make in the life of those around you.
3. Speak words that are gracious
One of my favorite verses about Jesus is found in Luke 4:22: “And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.” Gracious words are words that are full of unmerited favor. The people to whom you speak may not deserve your kindness but gracious words speak kindness and love anyway. Why don’t you use some gracious words today and watch the difference it makes in the lives of those around you.
Ultimately people with good words have good hearts. Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” If you want to become better with words work on your heart. Wise words requires a heart overflowing with the love of God. The closer you are to Him the more your words reflect His goodness and grace.