by Dr. Regina Campbell
“The words of the tongue should have three gatekeepers: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?”
Ephesians 4:29 – 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.
The words we speak can be life or death for a person. In the scriptures a question is asked us how bitter and sweet water come from the same fountain therefore how can cursing and blessings come from the same tongue (mouth)? God would have us to use our words to uplift and encourage others as opposed to dismantling and destroying others. It has often been stated that it is not what you say it is how you say it. Then the question becomes why should you be careful with what and how you say things to others? The answer is that words have such a devastating and long term impact upon a person that it affects the core and spirit of a person.
The impact of negative and hurtful words can last for decades and it can be the one thing that blocks a person’s ability to fully maximize their God-given dream or talent. Negative words can impact a person’s self-esteem and value. When harsh statements are made it can wound a person to the point that the person’s view and thoughts of him/herself have been distorted. In some cases the person may never overcome those negative words? Consequently the person will always feel as if he/she can never measure up to a certain standard or that he/she is of no value.
However on the other side of the coin when you speak encouraging words that are couched in sensitivity and compassion then a person is more readily accepting. For example, if you have to give constructive feedback the person receiving is more likely to truly hear the message and receive it. Most important when you are wise in the use of words you send a message that you truly care about a person and his/her feelings. I encourage you to try to be more uplifting of others, expressing words of praise to a person. Tell someone how great he/she is, tell a person how much you believe in him/her and as you become more positive in your words then you began to feel better yourself!!!
To make certain you are edifying and not deflating a person ask these questions:
Will this hurt and harm the person?
Will this help the person, if so what is the best way to tell the person?
Will I say these things if the person was in the room?
Is this the best time to speak on this matter?
Bible verses that will help you: Proverbs 15:1, 2 & 7; Proverbs 13:3; Proverbs 18:21; Proverbs 25:11 and James 3:1-12