Health experts contend that vaccinations assist in reaching national health goals. Otherwise, there could be a public health emergency. Similarly, the spreading disease of damaging words should also be controlled or prevented.
Viruses may spread during sneezes or coughs, and survive on surfaces or in the air for hours. Also, diseases may alter one’s physical appearance or cause other conditions. Refusing to control our words may harm others and cause limitations.
Harmful words may lead to suffering and mental anguish. It has been stated that sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me; now, that’s just not true. I’m reminded of the idiomatic phrase of washing one’s mouth out with the proverbial soap, an expression of threatening punishment for using vulgar language. Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21), so the words we speak can discourage others or uplift them. The ole-time singer Robert Blair called a deadly, poisonous tongue a “pink tornado.”
On the other hand, words of life can be encouraging and build others up. Words are spirit and life (John 6:63), so we can surrender that gossip, idle chatter, and slander — from peacebreaker to peacemaker. Let’s use wisdom to think first, then speak.
Here’s a thought: Even the deepest pain from negative words can springboard us into the service of the Lord and launch us into our greatest calling.
Prayer: Lord, let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight (Psalm 19:14). We want our words to bless and edify others, not tear them down. Allow our seasoned words to minister grace to the hearers (Ephesians 4:29). We acknowledge You as the Living Word. And Lord, we come against any negative words that have been spoken against us and our families, so we cancel them now in the name of Jesus. We want disease control and prevention. We just need to watch our words. We don’t want to hurt anyone.
In Christ’s name and for His sake, Amen.
Della Marie Woods Newkirk is an educator and native of Lillington. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.