Words With Friends #Riot140

I have a confession.  I’m addicted to Words with Friends.  It’s a game I can play on my phone, on my laptop, or on my iPad.  It’s like Scrabble, and I can play with people all over the country.  I currently have games going with friends in Arizona, Florida, and Pennsylvania.  Feel free to look me up and challenge me to a game.

This past Sunday at youth group, our youth pastor (Adam) preached about words.  He challenged the teenagers (and adult leaders) with a reminder that our words matter.  What we say has the power to lift someone to the highest heights or drop them to the lowest valley.  Our words are a heart issue.

I’ve thought a lot about Adam’s message over the past few days.  There are many times when we seem to speak way before we think.  Do we realize that our words have power to change someone’s life?  Or are we just moving our lips in hopes that we will get noticed?

The Bible talks about how we should (or shouldn’t) use our mouths:

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.  Psalm 19:14

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  Romans 10:9

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.  Psalm 141:3

“You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:  ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’”  Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand.  What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”  Matthew 15:7-11

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.  Proverbs 18:21

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.  James 3:3-10

I’m sure there are other verses I could reference.  Hopefully, these help you see what I’m talking about.

I want my words to matter.  I want to praise God with my lips and with my actions.  I want to lift others up and to point them towards Christ.

Jon Acuff talks about critic’s math.  “One insult plus a thousand compliments equals one insult.” 

When we insult someone – when we use our words to tear someone down, we are wiping out whatever other compliments we may have shared.  We need to be careful with how we speak to others and about others.

And so, I stretch on.

How have words changed your life?  What has someone said to you that made a positive difference in your life?  What do you need to say to someone today that will change the course of their day and maybe even their life?