“Words are free. It’s how you use them, that may cost you.” (KUSHANDWISDOM via pinterest.com)
This quotation expresses a great truth which we all should heed. Words are both free and plentiful. Although they are free and easily passed on to others, every word possesses some type of value. We can use our words to tear down others, or we can openly express our words with the hope of building up others.
We can spend our words or we can invest them.
To tear down another with our words is to spend our words. Gossiping, lying, backbiting, cursing, and telling coarse jokes are all ways of spending our words. When we spend our words in these fashions, the cost will often be far more than we ever imagined. We may lose family, friends, spiritual brethren, credibility, the respect of others, and possibly even our own souls.
Jesus said, “I tell you on the day of judgement people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37) ESV
Paul exhorted, “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) ESV
Words are free, yet every word possesses some type of value. We can either spend our words, or we can invest them.
To try to build up others is to invest our words. When we invest our words, we will often receive far more in return than we expect. We may gain family, friends, spiritual brethren, credibility, the respect of others, and possibly even the preservation of our own souls.
Four ways that we can build up others are:
- To speak words of appreciation for who they are; letting them know that we appreciate their kindness, goodness, love, intelligence, etc.
- To speak words of thanksgiving for the things they have done; letting them know that we have noticed their actions of love and kindness.
- To speak words of encouragement for who they can become; exhorting them to live up to the potentials they possess.
- To speak words of exhortation for who they should become; encouraging them in their faith and their need to be loyal to God.
Each of us, whether we are a child, a teen, a young adult, or a mature adult, needs to hear these types of valuable words. For each of us, the following passages prove true.
“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” (Proverbs 12:25) ESV
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24) ESV
“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18) ESV
“Words are free. It’s how you use them that may cost you.” This expresses a great truth.
But another great truth may be expressed: “Words are free. It’s how you invest them that may determine the bountifulness of their return.”
May we wisely invest every word we utter.
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