For Adults: The Power of Words
Watch your words diligently. Words have such great power to bless or to wound. When you speak carelessly or negatively, you damage others as well as yourself. This ability to verbalize is an awesome privilege, granted only to those I created in My image. You need help in wielding this mighty power responsibly.
Though the world applauds quick-witted retorts, My instructions about communication are quite different:
Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.
Ask My Spirit to help you whenever you speak. I have trained you to pray — “Help me, Holy Spirit” — before answering the phone, and you have seen the benefits of this discipline. Simply apply the same discipline to communicating with people around you. If they are silent, pray before speaking to them. If they are talking, pray before responding. These are split-second prayers, but they put you in touch with My Presence. In this way, your speaking comes under the control of My Spirit. As positive speech patterns replace your negative ones, the increase in your Joy will amaze you.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. — Ephesians 4:29
Proverbs 12:18; James 1:19
For Kids: Sticks and Stones
The saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” just simply isn’t true. Words can cut deeper than any knife. And the wounds they leave behind may never heal.
The world praises people who say “clever” things — even if they embarrass and hurt others. But that is not the kind of person I want you to be. Your words are powerful tools. I want you to use them to build up those around you, not tear them down.
I know you get angry and frustrated at times, but don’t say the first thing that pops into your mind. Pray first! Before you pick up the phone, pray. Before you answer someone else’s angry words, pray. Before you say anything, pray! A simple, split-second prayer — “Help me, Jesus” — is all it takes to put your words under My control.
Have words ever hurt you? Think of a time when your words hurt someone — when you said something you wish you had not. What could you have said instead?
Excerpted with permission from Jesus Calling Family Devotional by Sarah Young, copyright Sarah Young.
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There’s no better way to teach our children to be careful with their words than by modeling it! Sometimes the best lessons come with being hurt by words and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, not retaliating! Come share your thoughts on this family devotion on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily