BY: Cindy Jackson
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
“But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken” –Matthew 12:36
“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
“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” –Psalms 34:1
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Mama always said, “If you don’t have something nice to say, just don’t say anything at all.” That was always a struggle for me because I think that I came out of the womb with plenty to say. I have a friend whose husband has always teasingly (but with a little bit of truth) asked us if we got in our 25,000 words with each other that day. I always thought he was joking until I read that women do speak on the average of 20,000 words a day, 13,000 more words a day than men do, all because of a protein in the female brain. How many of those words are “empty” words, those words that are corrupt and don’t build up or give grace? The thought of being judged for every negative word I’ve every spoken is a bit overwhelming.
Recently I was having breakfast with friends, and we were discussing the struggle to keep our conversation and words uplifting, avoiding the temptation of gossip and useless chatter. It was apparent that we were all under the same conviction. But how, when we are so geared to talk, do we overcome this? Several days later, I came across Psalms 34:1 in my Bible. Beside it, I had, at some point, written the following: If I am continually blessing and praising the Lord, there is no time for ugliness to come forth from my mouth. There it was! God’s answer for taming the tongue is blessing and praising Him ALL the time.
So, instead of saying, “Guess what she did to me?” I can say, “Guess what HE did for me?” Instead of sharing, “You won’t believe the awful thing [fill in the name] did?” I can replace it with “Let me tell you how much grace and mercy my Father showed me today.” Instead of gossiping with “Guess what she said? I can relate what God spoke to me that day. For every “empty” word, I can find a word of blessing and praise to replace it.
PRAYER: Lord, help me tame my tongue. Let my words be words of praise and blessing to you at all times. Help me turn empty words into words that build up, pure words full of grace.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cindy has been married to Tim Jackson for 29 years and has three children: Audrey (25), Tyler (21), and Drew (18). After homeschooling for 20 years and sending her youngest off to school, she is now seeking what God has for her next. Studying the Word, teaching, tutoring other students, reading, writing, nutrition, and cooking are her passions and interests.