Proverbs 18:21 The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Proverbs 15:4 Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

James 3:5-10 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body….it corrupts the whole body….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.

Romans 14:19 So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.

Oh, Lord, I pray that my words would bring both glory and praise to You but also that they would build up everyone around me.  Place a guard over my mouth so that nothing that is useless or hurtful comes out of my mouth.  Examine my heart and keep working in my life so that the overflow of my heart would be a sweet, sweet melody to Your ears.  Forgive me for the times that I have let words carelessly slip out of my mouth.  Let me speak only things that would edify and build up the body.  Teach me to confront in a way that speaks truth with overpowering love.  Let me go first to my brother or sister.  Help me become so firmly planted in You that I can take the parts of criticism that You desire me to hear and to let go of the rest.  Let me be found trusting You to defend me rather than seeking my own defense.  Strengthen my belief in You.  Fear is cast out in Your presence.  Let me be found at Your feet always.  Your Word reminds me over and over that the tongue holds much power so let me use it for good.  

Do you struggle with making sure your words bring life? 

*after writing this I happened to read Lisa Bevere’s chapter on gossip in Out of Control and Loving it. so good…and love when god connects heart thoughts.

Here are some questions she suggests asking to guard yourself in regards to listening and even to rephrase to ask ourselves before we tell something:

Why are they telling me this?

Are they confessing their reaction to the offense or just repeating it to influence me?

Have they gone to the individual who offended them?

Are they asking me to go with them so restoration can take place?

Am I in a position to help them?