Archive for May 29th, 2013

Scripture: There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health. Proverbs 12:18 (NKJV)

Observation: The expression “piercing words” means someone who speaks hastily or indiscreetly, a person who speaks with anger, or uses his/her mouth in a reckless manner, they are not thought through. The opposite is the tongue of the wise who uses soothing and gentle language.
The SDA Bible Commentary explains, “The simile is particularly striking in Hebrew, since the edge of a sword is called its mouth. The hasty, impatient mouth speaks words that wound the hearts of friends and lead to great suffering and sorrow. Tactless words often prick the tender hearts of those who mourn or are in difficulty, but the wise man knows what to say to comfort the sorrowing, soothe the angry, and cheer the despondent (see Psalms 10:11).

Application: The words we use, particularly those we use on a daily basis toward our spouse or children, can put them down or lift them up. Those words can discourage or encourage, they can hurt or heal, they can kill or give life. Ellen White wrote, “The voice and tongue are gifts from God, and if rightly used, they are a power for God. Words mean very much. They may express love, devotion, praise, melody to God, or hatred and revenge. Words reveal the sentiments of the heart. They may be a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. The tongue is a world of blessing, or a world of iniquity (Manuscript 40, 1896).
Today, let us make a special effort to eliminate from our speech toward our loved ones (or anybody else, for that matter) anything that tears down, any criticism, words that hurt or put the other person down. Instead, let’s begin a new habit of using positive, encouraging words, words that build up and that make them feel better about themselves. Instead of catching others when they’re doing something bad or wrong, and emphasize that, catch them doing what is good, and express your appreciation for those things. . . that is one way to reinforce good behavior. Express appreciation even for the smallest actions or words of the others. Tell your wife you appreciate the meal she prepared for you, or how orderly and clean she keeps the house, or compliment her for the way she looks and how she takes care of herself, of your children, and of you. Thank your husband for mowing the lawn, for keeping the cars in good working condition, or for painting a room or the entire house. Each of those words can be like healing balm for their ears, and for your relationship.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, helps us to use our words to strengthen, encourage, and build up those around us.

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