“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Our moms taught us this little chant with welling meaning intentions but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Words hurt. That’s why we all need a little Bible lesson on the power of our words.
We’ve all been on the giving or receiving line of words. Hurtful words stick with us the most. Replaying over and over in our minds. Spreading lies that crush us, ruin relationships, and destroy peace.
Even if the words are spoken by some one we love and trust, who we know never meant to wound us, they can fester and cause walls to built or mistrust to grow.
I want to give us some tools today straight from the word of God that will help us to be sure that we are not the ones shooting these fiery darts of destruction from our mouths. And, they will also help us to teach our children the power of the tongue and how to speak life.
B.A.G. Your Words
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.Ephesians 4:29 ESV
This week, I’ve been teaching my children what the Bible says on the power of our words and how they affect others. I am going to put some lesson ideas at the bottom of this post of some scriptures we studied, activities, and songs we sang in case your are interested.
One of the things I taught them is to ask themselves, “Do my words come from God’s bag?” It’s an acronym I made up from Ephesians 4:29:
B- BUILD UP
Do my words build up? The opposite would be obviously to tear down.
Do my words encourage others? Am I pointing out strengths or weaknesses?
If I need to criticize, am I doing it with a spirit of love that corrects and instructs? This is super important for us Mommas.
When we discipline our children, we should follow the commands of scriptures. We need to be sure that we are not coming from a place of anger or annoyance but from a spirit of gentle guidance in righteousness.
Little hearts are sensitive and they are looking to us for wisdom. How we respond to them is how they will respond to others. They are going to imitate us.
- Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. (Romans 15:2)
- And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. (Hebrews 10:24)
- A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. (Proverbs 15:4)
The second part of the instructions in Ephesians 4:29 says “as fits the occasion.”
No one is telling dirty jokes at church. This is the idea for how we live our lives. If it seems out of place or inappropriate, don’t say it.
A list of things the Bible speaks out against for us as believers concerning our words that would fall under inappropriate:
- filthy language
- crude jesting
- obscene talk
- taking the Lord’s name in vain
- idle talk
I think it is also a good lesson for us as wives and moms. We need to address and correct but sometimes the heat of the moment is not “fitting the occasion.” We need to wait until we’ve prayed and are sure that our words are going to be well received.
- Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. (Ephesians 5:4)
- I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak. (Matthew 12:36)
- Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. (James 1:19)
The final part of the acronym, that helps us to teach the children the power of our words, is gracious.
When people hear us talk, would they be able to say that we are gracious and kind people?
Matthew Henry, in his commentary, writes on this verse, “It is the great duty of Christians to take care that they offend not with their lips, and that they improve discourse and converse, as much as may be, for the good of others.”
Are we being helpful in conversation?
Are we offering wise advice from the scriptures?
Are we guiding others to see their blessings versus adding to their misery?
Our speech is to impart grace the the hearer. They should walk away from a conversation with us feeling stronger, wiser, and lifted up.
- She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31:26)
- And sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. (Titus 2:8)
- But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)
It Begins in the Heart
Jesus said, “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.” (Matthew 15:18)
The bottom line is that what we say from our mouths comes straight from what we are feeling in our hearts. In order to change our speech, we need a heart check. We need to be sure that we have a clean heart through asking forgiveness and making things right with others.
We also need to be sure that we are dwelling on the right things in our minds. Philippians 4:8 teaches us to think on the positive things: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Its much easier to speak things that are uplifting, appropriate, and gracious when we are clean before God and when we are filling our minds with His word and the good things He has done for us in life.
Finally, a thankful heart is always reflected in our speech. Most everyone likes to share good news. It’s exciting!! Why not have a hearts so thankful for what God has done that you just can’t help but have it overflow for others to hear.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. ” (Colossians 3:16)
Prayer for Our Words
Dear Lord, please let me understand the power of my words and may all I speak line up with what the Bible teaches. Help me to speak words that build up others and not tear them down. Convict me if I ever speak words that are not appropriate. And, help my words bring grace to the hearers. I want to honor you with my tongue. Amen.
Daily Bible Lessons for Kids on the Power of Our Words
Day 1: James 3:1-12
Day 2: Matthew 12:33-37
Day 3: Proverbs 26:20-22
Day 4: Proverbs 15:1-4
Day 5: 1 Timothy 4:12
Scripture Memorization Songs
-Repeat Game (Set a time limit and everyone repeats what others say.)
-Go around the room and have everyone say something nice about one another.
These games help to reinforce how powerful our words are and how they can be used for good or bad.