How powerful our tongues are. So much more powerful than I think we even know.

“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” – James 3:5

Just last night, I was in the middle of a misunderstanding with one of my closest friends, all because of our tongues. Our silly, thoughtless, fly-off-the-handle tongues. We both said things we shouldn’t have, and I think we were both super frustrated. 

But then… in the midst of discussing what we were frustrated about, which included mentioning something I’m genuinely bothered by, I felt like I needed to tell him why it bothered me. And I know this was the Holy Spirit urging me to say it, because honestly it wouldn’t have been my first thought of what to say right then. So I simply said, “I think you’re better than that.” 

And our conversation immediately changed tones. 

Immediately. 

What a difference even speaking that one simple affirmation into my friend’s life made in our frustrated states of mind. 

What a difference if we just speak a kind truth rather than tear someone down. 

Even if we don’t mean something to come across poorly, even if we’re not being unkind, when we’re not deliberately speaking kindness into someone’s life, then we’re not following Jesus in the way that we need to be. 

“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

We’re supposed to be using our words to build each other up. Not tear them down. 

“A gentle answer turns away wrath…” – Proverbs 15:1a (look up 1-3, 4 while you’re at it!)

Why was I surprised at how all anger and frustration dissipated instantly?! 

Jesus, please help me to give grace with my words. To speak kindness and life. Even when I’m frustrated. Maybe especially when I’m frustrated. Maybe when I actually make an intentional effort when I want to grump instead, just maybe it’ll change MY mood and outlook on the whole situation too. 

When my instinct is to close my mouth or to say the first thing that comes to mind, help me to be deliberately and intentionally out-of-my-way kind. 

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