The Power of Words: How to Use Them Wisely and Kindly

Words are powerful, and we have a responsibility to use them wisely.

words has power, words have power, The Power of Words: How to Use Them Wisely and Kindly

Words are powerful. They can create or destroy, heal or hurt, inspire or discourage. Words shape our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Words reflect our past and influence our futures. They help or hinder relationships and careers. Words are so significant that even in the Bible, there is a chapter by James called The Untameable Tongue, which warns us about the dangers and difficulties of controlling our speech.

James writes:

For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:7-8, ESV)

James compares the tongue to a small but powerful instrument, like a rudder of a ship or a spark of fire, that can change the course of events or cause great damage. He also contrasts the tongue’s inconsistency and hypocrisy, as it can both praise God and curse people. James challenges us to choose our words wisely, as they are a reflection our inner self.

“With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:9-10, ESV)

How can we use our words wisely and master verbal impulse control?

How can we speak the truth in love and lift one another up with our words?

Here are some tips that might help:
Be mindful of your words.

Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? If the answer is no, then don’t say it. Think before you speak, and choose your words carefully. Remember that words have consequences, and once they are spoken, they cannot be taken back.

Be mindful of your emotions.

Emotions are natural and valid, but they can also cloud our judgment and affect our communication. When you are feeling angry, hurt, frustrated, or overwhelmed, you might be tempted to say things that you don’t mean or that you will regret later. In such situations, it is better to take a time-out and calm yourself down before resuming the conversation. You can use some self-soothing techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or listening to music, to lower your stress levels and regain your perspective.

Be mindful of your listener.

Communication is a two-way process, and it requires empathy and understanding. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, and see things from their point of view. Listen actively and attentively, and avoid interrupting or judging. Acknowledge their feelings and needs, while showing respect. Don’t assume that you know what people are thinking or feeling, and don’t impose your opinions or solutions on them. Ask questions and clarify if you are unsure or confused.

Be mindful of your purpose.

What is the goal of your conversation? What are you hoping to hear or learn? Keep your purpose in mind, and focus on the main points and the facts. Avoid getting sidetracked by irrelevant or trivial details, or by personal attacks or insults. Stay on topic, and be clear and concise. Use positive and constructive language, and avoid negative and destructive language. For example, instead of saying “You never listen to me”, you can say “I feel like you are not paying attention to what I am saying”.

Be mindful of your tone.

How you say something is as important as what you say. Your tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language convey a lot of information. These non-verbal forms of communication also affect how the other person perceives and responds to your message. Be aware of tone, and make sure it matches your words and your intention. A calm tone of voice levels the communication field, while a harsh tone creates major roadblocks. Smile and make eye contact. Avoid frowning or rolling your eyes. Use open and relaxed gestures, and avoid crossing your arms or pointing your finger.

Words are powerful, and we have a responsibility to use them wisely. By following these tips, we can improve our relationships significantly. We can also honor God and reflect His love and grace with our words.

As James writes:

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:17-18, ESV) Amen.