Every single word we speak either brings life, or it brings death. They brings light, or they brings darkness. There are no neutral words. And one day we will have to give an account for every careless word we speak (Matthew 12:36-37, "I tell you, on the day of judgement people will give account for careless word they speak.) We will be judged by our words, and we will be set free by our words (Matthew 12:37, For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.).
Every word we speak has power. Proverbs 18:21, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits."
The Bible offers guidance for speech. Psalm 37:30, "The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice." And Proverbs 21:23, Whoever keeps his mouth and tongue keeps himself out of trouble." Also Colossians 4:6, "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."
Holy Spirit will speak through us if we will allow Him. 2 Samuel 32:2, "The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me; His word is on my tongue."
We can enter into covenants on how we will and will not speak. Job 27:4, "My lips will not speak falsehood, and my tongue will not utter deceit."
We can speak with excellence. Proverbs 25:11, "As apples of gold in pictures of silver, is a word spoken in season."
Our words are sharp swords capable of waging great war. Psalm 57:4, "My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts- the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords."
We speak about what we love, and our passion moves out speech. Psalm 39:3, "My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue."
God knows our speech and our motives. Psalm 139:4, "Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it altogether."
This is a message of warning. For by our words we can bring death and judgement to our souls and to the people around us. We can gossip and slander, speak idly and cloud the atmosphere around us. We can speak death over people, even those we love, with our speech.
But this is also a message of hope, for by our words we can set captives free, bring hope to the hopeless, bring healing to the broken, and life to the lifeless. We can show the love of God by our speech, and we can be set free by the words we speak. We can enter into life by our words.
It is a message of hope because it declares we can change the life of people we come into contact with everyday. The times we witness without seeing fruit, we can know that we still spoke life over that person and that always makes a difference. The conversations with people that don't feel like they matter can matter and declare life over someone, and do more good than we will every see. It is a message of hope because we can bring life to every conversation when we speak.
So how will you speak? I will be pretty transparent here and admit this is a struggle for me, especially with my family. I struggle with my tone of voice, and am too quick to speak a harsh word (even when not intending to speak harshly). It's something I need to work on, and will work on. So, starting one day at a time, I am going to really work on speaking life, and not death.