The Bible and Words

The Bible and Words

Words – How important are they? Do they matter? What are the effects of words spoken, and what are the effects of words heard? The Scriptures shed light on these questions. This article looks at the Bible and words.

The Effects of Words Spoken

The  Bible reads in Prov. 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” The tongue can yield life or death depending on how it is used. It is said that speech is the picture of the mind.

The Bible and Words - Prov 18-21

Because of this, we are warned in the Scriptures regarding the use of our tongues. Eph 4:29 reads, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
In other words, if we don’t have anything good to say, don’t say it at all.

We, as Christians, must be careful about what we say. As part of the body of Christ, we are to be filled with his righteousness and holiness. Therefore, we must not allow any “corrupt communication” to come out of our mouths. Corrupt” means tasteless and worthless (such as gossip and slander), and it involves foul talk (such as coarse language and cursing). This kind of speech is worthless, spreads worthlessness, and leads hearers to think about worthless matters.

The Bible and Words

Not only should our words be kept clean and truthful, but also we should use words that help build others up according to their needs. We must be sensitive to the situation and the needs of anyone with whom we communicate. We must be wise in choosing our words because even good words, when used inappropriately, can be destructive instead of beneficial.

We should not speak unclearly with words that could have many applications. Instead, our words should be sincere and specifically suited to the current individual, time, and place. Our speech should edify and enlighten, not tear down. Unless we are helping the other person, our words are meaningless. What we say should benefit those who are listening. Through our words, God can move to help others and bring his grace to them.

The Effects of Words We Hear

The words we hear can affect us in many ways. Because of this, it is crucial for us to monitor what we hear.

Prov. 15:4 reads, “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. NIV

This Scripture perfectly describes the effects of the words we hear. The tongue that brings healing is a good, positive tongue. A good tongue yields blessings. It delivers healing words to a wounded conscience by comforting it, to a sin-sick soul by convincing it that not all is lost, to harmony when it is broken by differences, compromising matters in conflict, and reconciling parties that are in disagreement. This description is a tongue that heals, described as a tree of life, with the leaves containing healing goodness.

The Bible and Words - Prov 15:4

On the other hand, a deceitful tongue is negative and wounding, for it deliverers perverseness, passion, falsehood, and filthiness, which crashes the spirit. Additionally, it injures the conscience of the deliverer and causes either guilt or grief to the hearers. Both are to be considered to crush the spirit. Hard words certainly break no bones, but they have broken many a heart.

There are numerous examples of good and bad tongues in the Scriptures. Let’s look at a couple of them. Numbers 6:22-27

 22 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

23 Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,

24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:

25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.

This passage contains the Lord’s instructions for blessing those who wished to become Nazarites. Aaron, the priest, and his sons were to speak these words of blessing upon the perspective Nazarenes.

Gen 9:24-27

24 When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him,

25 he said, “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.”

26 He also said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem.

27 May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be his slave.” NIV

Here we have a negative tongue delivering a curse. In this passage, Noah cursed Canaan, his grandson, when he discovered what his son had done.

Therefore, we see that words can be used to bless, and words can be used to curse. However, we are encouraged to them for blessings instead of cursing. James 3:9-10 reads,

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 

10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. NIV

Here James acknowledges the dual use of words with our tongues. He knew that followers of Christ could be capable of both praise and cursing because of what he had witnessed with the disciples. As Peter promised Christ, “I will not deny you”
(Matt 26:35 NRSV), but later, he denied Jesus with oaths and curses (Matt 26:69-75). In 1 John 3:18, the apostle John says, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (NIV). Previously in his life, John was willing to call down fire to destroy a Samaritan village (Luke 9:51-56).

Since words expose an individual’s heart, it displays the same probability to help or destroy. The tongue reflects the inner person (Matt 12:34).

May we take every opportunity to use our words for positive actions instead of negative ones.

Questions, comments, and concerns are welcomed below.

Blessings!

 

 

 

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20 thoughts on “The Bible and Words”

  1. Your tongue is powerful which communicates your inner feeling.

    I love the post, describing the power of your words.

    Words can heal a person or make a person cry.

    It is very easy to say to control your coming out because it cannot go back. 

    Let words always be helpful to others and your words are sincere.

    It is very difficult to control your mind to use the right words at the right time.

    Let our sincere prayer guide us to be delivering the help through the right choice of words.

    Thank you for this amazing blog which lightened my heart.

    1. You are correct, Anusuya; we must pray for guidance in controlling the words we use, especially during emotional times when we are subject to lose control and say the wrong things. This is one of the reasons we need the Holy Spirit so desperately.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. In today`s world, too much is revolving around hate and blaming. And we see this everywhere, from people on the street to what is happening on TV and on the internet.

    Some people should be more grateful for each day that is offered to them and also try to uplift other people in the process. We should be able to show more compassion and a great way to do this is through words.

    1. Your words are very true, Valentin. Sometimes words are the only way to show compassion. We must be more sensitive to our words.

      Thanks for commenting!

  3. I think everyone should read this article, as it makes a whole lot of sense. The words we speak can affect so many in either a good or bad way, and often we say things we don’t mean or without thinking, or something could come out sounding wrong and offend someone.

    It is difficult to censor our words all the time, but I think it is wise to get into the habit of thinking before you say something so that you can get better at communication and stop yourself if you are going to hurt someone in the process.

    1. I agree, Michel; it is wise for us to be mindful of the words we speak. Once they leave our mouths, we can’t retrieve them, and the damage is done.

      Thanks for commenting!

  4. Hi Nathaniel,

    The words are so true.  Words can be positive or negative and cause a lot of harm when words are used that are corrupt.  Your About Me page states you are in ministry.  Does your ministry take videos?  I would think that would be a great addition to your posts.  I have the whole Bible on CDs and listen to them when I can.  

    Thank you for sharing,

    Chastity

    1. Hi Chasity – No, we’re not doing videos at the moment, but it’s on the to-do list. Thanks for the suggestion and for commenting?

      Have a blessed one!

  5. You are so right that through our words, we can help others and it can benefit those that are listening. So have a guard on your mouth and think about the message you want to send out with your words, before you open your mouth and speak them. 

    The Bible has so many beautiful references to positive and healing words, and I particularly like “a healing tongue is a tree of life” as described in Proverbs 15:4. So speak positive words and do not listen to negative words that break down. 

    1. Yes, for sure, we must guard our words for the sake of others and ourselves because we can be justified or condemned by our words (Matthew 12:37).

      Thanks for commenting!

  6. Words are so important ! The saying that stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me is not true! Words can hurt so much deeper than sticks or stones. They can build up or break down. They can change a persons life for the better or they can ruin a persons life. Thanks for sharing this I definitely needed to hear it! 

    1. For sure, Mandy. Words are the weapons of mass destruction when used improperly, and we must treat them as such by the power of the Holy Spirit.

      Thanks for commenting!

  7. Nathaniel, thank you for posting this blog. 

    I love the message and it consolidates what my mother always said! She gave me the book “There Is A Miracle In Your Mouth” and it has been a lesson for me, for my whole life. I am sure you are familiar with it.

    Your message is so simple in its truth as there are no grey areas with God. It is either right or wrong, good or bad.

    You told it like it is, and simply put, be careful what you say. You can never take those words back. 
    This is an excellent reminder of that.

    Keep speaking The Word!
    I love this post.

    Regards, Corinne

    1. Hi Connie – Nothing beats a mother’s wisdom, and we are wise to adhere to it. It’s the next best thing to God’s Word! I appreciate your kind words.

      Thanks for commenting!

  8. Hi there,

    It is so true that our words can lift up or pull someone down. We have to be careful what we say because God will judge every idle word we say. We should use words to lift others up not pull them down. 

    That is so true that  “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.“

    We also have to be careful of the words we heard and not let everything into your hearts and minds. 

    Great Article

    God Bless You Always

    Elke

    1. For sure, Ingrid. It is just as essential to guard the words we hear as well as those we speak. The world we live in is full of corrupt speech, and it is hard to avoid it. The words we hear can indeed corrupt us if we allow them to dwell in our minds. We can’t stop birds from flying over our heads, but we can keep them from making a nest.

      Thanks for commenting!

  9. This is an insightful article. The tongue is a small organ of the body but is difficult to control. The words that come out of our mouths shows the state of our heart. Just as the Bible says ” out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh”. 

    For our words to change, our hearts have to be continually renewed by the word of God. We should not allow our emotions to control our utterances. 

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Now words are more accurate than the ones you wrote, Bethel. As Jesus said in Matt 15:18, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”

      Thanks for commenting!

  10. For whatever reason I found myself at your page discussing the day of worship. I am torah observant, half a jew, messianic christian, (all three of them is how I describe my faith) and so my Shabbat ( Sabbath) is from sun down Friday to Sundown Saturday. As far as I know the day of worship and Shabbat are one in the same. I also do know that it was changed to a Sunday at one point due to trying to fit in with the Romans, I believe. It was changed just as Passover was changed to Easter, Sukkot ( the festival and time of year that Jesus was actually born) was combined with oh I can’t remember what the Satanic thing was on Christmas that the christians changed. My point is yes the day of worship was changed along with so many other things to try and blend in with all other cultures at the time.

    1. Yes, correct, and now that we know the truth, we must adhere to it and act accordingly. Time is drawing nigh!

      Thanks for commenting!

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