Updated: Aug 13, 2020
Have you ever wanted to say something to someone but you just couldn't find the right words? I am usually a "speak now, think later" kind of person (which sometimes gets me into trouble) but I too struggle with choosing my words wisely. How do I say this so that it's not hurtful? How do I make sure I am not making the person confused? How do I tell the truth in love? Sound familiar?
Below is a scripture that has helped me tremendously as it relates to choosing my words wisely so I wanted to share it with you.
The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.
This scripture talks about the "well-instructed tongue", some translations refer to it as "the tongue of the learned." It also lets us to know that this tongue is given by the Lord, so it's not something that we are necessarily born with. However, because God will not withhold anything good from us (Psalm 84:11), we can ask God to give us this gift. To have an instructed tongue is to be guided by the Holy Spirit in what we say. In fact, this scripture tells us that the person who has an instructed tongue will be able to speak a word to someone who is weary and help them not to give up! Whew, that's powerful!
I know they taught us that "sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will never hurt us" but that was the biggest lie ever. Words are powerful. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue! Because of this, we can not be careless with what we say. We all need an instructed tongue to communicate wisely with our loved ones, our co-workers, and strangers. Honestly, we even need an instructed tongue to speak to ourselves because some of us are not very self-compassionate and we beat ourselves up. Effective communication is a skill that can be learned from webinars and self-help books but things like wisdom, discernment, and love can only be taught by the Holy Spirit.
Lastly, the instructed tongue not only helps us with what to say but it also helps us to know when to be quiet (Ouch!) Yep, sometimes the Holy Spirit will tell you to “hush!” Sometimes we have to allow God to fight our battles for us. If you’re anything like me, this is extremely difficult but with the help of the Holy Spirit, it is possible. There is a time for everything- a time to speak up, and a time to be quiet. May the Holy Spirit teach how to discern this in our own lives.
Our prayer: Lord, today we ask you for an instructed tongue. We want our words to heal and not hurt. We want your spirit to give us the courage to speak the truth in love and to speak wisely. We want to speak with boldness and confidence. Help us to discern when we need to be quiet and allow you to handle challenging situations for us. Forgive us for ever being reckless with our words. Help us to know what to speak to those who are weary and to those who are lost. Help us to always speak life. We ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen.