Words can heal and words can hurt
Words can build and words can tear down
Words can create and words can destroy
Words can give hope and words can generate fear
How are you using your words today?
Many use words they don't understand only to look intelligent. Some use words to sound pious, but they don't believe them. Others use words as weapons, instead of building blocks. Be careful about the words you use and how you use them. The Bible says that a word fitly spoken is like "apples of gold in pictures of silver". But it also says "the tongue is a fire" and can be "full of deadly poison".
You have heard the phrase, "sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me". That simply is not true. Words can destroy a person. Many times the hurt we cause comes from simple misunderstanding and ignorance. We may not realize that a particular word or phrase may hurt someone, usually because their life experiences are different than ours. We should be sensitive to this and adjust our speaking accordingly, especially with those we consider friends.
Sometimes we are careless and recklessly hurt with the words we use. In those cases we must apologize and seek to heal the breach. We are all human and make mistakes.That is part of life.
Sometimes in anger we use words to get reactions - like a grenade thrown into a crowd. There are words that are termed "gunpowder words", or inflammatory - their impact goes far beyond their literal meaning.
For instance, if you call someone a fascist or Nazi, there are many images that come to mind to accompany the words. There are specific definitions to the words, but you must be careful about applying them to current situations. The persons using them today are using them not to identify but to get a reaction (like squelching dissent or discussion).
This brings up the last problem with word usage today. Many use words to attack, belittle, ridicule, and tear down people, not just ideas. Especially when people are angry they strike out at others. When debate and discussion is not getting them the desired result -compliance with their opinion - they resort to fighting with words - name calling,etc.
We should all take a few deep breaths, think about what we are doing before we speak, and search our hearts and see if we really want to say those words. To paraphrase another Bible verse - "whatever is true, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report, think - and speak - on these things".
Consider your words carefully today. If you are purporting to be a follower of God, your words can either add to or detract from others vision of Him ,seen through your life.