All of these are things that happen in us and then come out in our words.
This is why Jesus said that our words are from the overflow of our hearts.
Bitterness stems from the hurt of a past event; you were scarred, and resentment has built up. When we speak with bitterness, it is often a response to a past event. It is when we haven’t dealt with something in our past, but it creeps into our present. In relationships, we make someone pay for the sins of someone from our past.
When was the last time you spoke from a place of rage and anger? When was the last time you thought, “I wish I hadn’t said that?” Have you ever had to go to someone and say, “I should not have said that, and I’m sorry?” Ever sent an email or text and immediately thought, I wish I could get that back!
Slander means to say things about someone that isn’t true, damaging someone’s reputation.
Malice means to hurt someone intentionally with our words.
Malice is almost exclusively something that happens in the closest relationships because we know which buttons to push. We know how to get a dig in at our spouse, boss, co-worker, sibling, friend, or child. Sadly, we save our harshest words for our closest relationships.
Paul then tells us in verse 32: use kind and compassionate words.
These words are sympathetic, empathetic, affectionate, and show concern. They are words that give pleasure and relief in life. This should categorize our words. If you’re honest, these are the words you long to hear from someone. I know I do.
Couples, you have so much power in your words to your spouse. You can send them on a course to change the world and conquer what is in front of them or deflate them before they start. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve doubted myself, and Katie grabbed my hand and said, “you can do this. I’m proud of you.” She signs all her notes to me, saying, “with all my admiration and respect.” I’ll tell you what; I feel like I could pick up a car when I hear that.
Parents, the words and the tone you use today will shape your kids for a long time. Don’t believe me? How much have the words of a parent impacted you for good or bad?
You can lift your friends, boss, and co-workers with a simple word.
This post about the power of words originally appeared here, and is used by permission.