Pro 15:1-4, 18, 23 NKJV A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. (2) The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. (3) The eyes of the LORD [are] in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good. (4) A wholesome tongue [is] a tree of life, But perverseness in it breaks the spirit. … (18) A wrathful man stirs up strife, But [he who is] slow to anger allays contention. … (23) A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word [spoken] in due season, how good [it is]!
Dear Son, One day when I was around twelve years old I went to the public tennis courts to play tennis with my younger brother (your uncle). He wasn’t doing so good at returning the ball and I was frustrated. My temper boiled over and I blurted out, “you retard!” On the other side of the fence a family had just arrived and was getting ready to play tennis. They had a son with down syndrome. I didn’t realize the insult I had hurled at my brother would hurt them, but I remember very vividly to this day the mother getting the children back into her car and leaving. I spoke foolishly that day (and I didn’t play tennis for nearly ten years after that incident because I was so ashamed).
The way you use words will either help or hurt others. Sometimes you just want to blurt something out, but it’s wiser to hold it in. You don’t need to justify yourself or show everyone the score. You don’t need to prove that you are smarter or craftier than others with your words. Sometimes the best word you can give is to just sit back and listen.
Other times you need to speak. Your words carry the power to give life. You need to stand up for those who don’t have a voice. You need to stand for those who are legitimately weak and oppressed. You need to affirm the good work that others are doing around you. You have the ability to add value with a rightly fitted compliment or affirmation. Learn how to affirm those around you and you will go far in life. You will find that some men and women will work harder for a well earned affirmation than they will for a large pay check.
Be careful with your words. Be generous with your compliments. When you are angry, it is wise to hold your tongue and listen to what is going on around you.
Father, thank you for the grace to parent my children. I pray they would be filled with good words to bless and affirm others. I pray that you would guard their mouths from foul language and the merciless things they might say when they are angry. I pray that your Spirit would move freely in their lives, guard their hearts, and free them to speak life to others. In Jesus Name, Amen.
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