Category Archives: Biblical Lessons about Speaking to Others

Lead With Your Ears

“Post this at all the intersections, dear friends:
Lead with your ears,
follow up with your tongue,
and let anger straggle along in the rear.”
James 1:19 (MSG)


Ears Lead


Wouldn’t it be great if these valuable directions were posted as constant reminders at all the intersections?  How many times could difficult situations be avoided if we simply kept certain thoughts to ourselves?

Speaking the right words at the appropriate time is important, but so is restraining our desire to say what we shouldn’t, because once words are spoken, they can’t be un-spoken or erased. An uncontrolled tongue spewing idle or hateful verbiage is divisive and damaging. A few angry words can destroy relationships that might have taken years to develop, so sifting words through a filter of love before they are released from our mouths is a crucial practice.

I’ve often heard the quote, “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason,” and I’m sure if we all listened twice as much as we spoke, all of our relationships would be much better off, and anger would be in our rearview mirrors.

Remember:  What we say is important, but so is what we don’t say.

        • The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint” Proverbs 17:27a (NIV)
        • “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” James 1:19 (NIV)
        • “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34b

Say it Forward


good morning suwanee

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth,

but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers.

Ephesians 4:29 KJV

Words are powerful.  The right words spoken at the right time can bring about a glorious sunrise in someone’s soul.  You never know when one encouraging comment can set someone’s life back on course and turn them in the direction of God’s destiny for their future…or even their eternity!    Positive words are powerfully uplifting, while negative, corrupt words are powerfully destructive.   Do your words “minister grace” to those with whom you communicate?

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.  Proverbs 12:25 (NIV)

King Solomon, perhaps the wisest man who ever lived, said this about our words, “What you say can mean life or death.  Those who speak with care will be rewarded.” Proverbs 18:21 (NCV)  “The tongue has the power of life and death…”  Proverbs 18:21a(NIV)  Anything that has the power of life or death is serious business!  Allow this truth to penetrate your mind and heart, and realize that careless words spoken in moments of frustration or anger can have devastating effects.  Encouraging, uplifting and inspiring words can have the effect of a refreshing rain shower on a drought stricken land. 

Thoughtless words cut deeply like a thrusting sword, but the speech of the wise is a healing balm.  

Proverbs 12:18 (VOICE)

Try this “word edification experiment” today:  Focus on your communication with others, and only allow yourself to speak words that will build up and bless those around you.  Consider this a day in which you are a “minister of grace” to all who hear you speak…your spouse, children, co-workers, store clerks, waiters, receptionists, bank tellers, and anyone else with whom you might come in contact.  If you are a teacher, coach, parent, manager, boss, minister, team captain, or any other kind of leader, you are in a unique position to inspire those individuals whom you lead.   For some of us this experiment may be extremely challenging, but at the end of the day take note, not only of how you feel inside, but also your perception of how others responded to your edifying words.  Similar to the “Pay it Forward” project in which one good deed for another can start a ripple effect of kindness around the world, this “Say it Forward” project could start a ripple effect of encouragement and inspiration around your community and beyond. (Imagine if our world leaders became part of this movement?!)  Your kind, uplifting words to another might prompt them to speak kind words to someone else, and so on.  If enough people embrace this experiment, we could witness the transformational power of grace in exponential proportions!  

Remember, “What you say can mean life or death.  Those who speak with care will be rewarded.”  Let your words be a blessing to others.  Not only will you build them up, but you will also be rewarded in ways you could never imagine.  So get started with this “word edification experiment” and Say it Forward

Your Family History



I will utter hidden things, things from of old—

What we have heard and known,

What our fathers have told us.

We will not hide them from their children,

We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,

His power, the wonders he has done…

Which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children…

So the next generations would know them,

Even the children yet to be born,

And they in turn would tell their children.

Then they would put their trust in God

And would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Psalm 78: 2b-7 (NIV)


Every family has a story. The threads of your family’s story are woven together like a richly adorned tapestry, from one generation to the next. It is important to pass down your family history so that your children, grandchildren…and even the children yet to be…will know the roots from which they are born and the foundation upon which their lives are built.

More importantly, children need to hear their parents and grandparents discuss the evidence of God’s hand upon their lives. They need to hear the stories of the wondrous ways in which God has intervened for their family and the miracles that He has performed in their behalf. Hearing your discussion about God’s provision, protection, healing, guidance and love is a verbal affirmation of His significance in your life. Your testimony is vital to helping your children place their trust in God.

How will your children ever know this information

about their heritage if you don’t share it with them personally?

In the Old Testament there are many accounts concerning the “family history” of the Children of Israel, the descendants of Abraham and Sarah, and their story is recorded for us to read.  God knew the importance of this type of storytelling, and He gave the Children of Israel specific instructions concerning this, “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.”  (Deuteronomy 11: 18 – 21)

As children of God, we are also part of this family, and we too can learn from these accounts. Not only do the stories include examples where God blessed those who followed His commands, but likewise there are many narratives explaining the consequences His people suffered when they failed to obey God’s commands. We learn from both examples. God gave clear instructions about how His people should live, and He told them,  “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse — the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.” (Deuteronomy 11:26-28)

Not only will your children benefit from hearing about the times God has blessed you for your obedience, but they can also learn from your mistakes.  There may be examples in your life where you chose a path which led you away from God.  Perhaps you suffered consequences as a result of those choices.  Sharing these types of stories with your children will help prevent them from making the same types of mistakes in their own lives.  It will also help them remember the importance of following God’s plan for their lives, so that they can avoid the pitfalls which come from following a different path.  It’s possible that your story might even provide a roadmap back to God if your child has veered from His path.

The example you set for your children will be the one they follow in passing this legacy down to their children…and all the children of your family yet to be born.  Remember the grand purpose of these types of discussions:  to help your children place their trust in God, to understand His vital role in their lives, and to remember the wondrous ways He has intervened in their lives.  The results will go down in eternal history!

My Lips are Concealed


My Lips are Concealed

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,

But only what is helpful for building others up

According to their needs,

That it may benefit those who listen.

Ephesians 4:29 (NIV, ©2010)


I rummaged through my purse in the seat next to me as I sat waiting for the traffic light to turn green. My lips were dry and cracking from the bitterly cold conditions, and I was trying to find my chap stick for quick relief. The light turned green, and traffic began to move. With my eyes now on the road, I kept blindly feeling for the tiny tube as I accelerated with the flow of cars.

Instead of the Chap Stick, I came upon what I thought was my lip gloss. Thankful for anything that could provide relief to my irritated lips, I grabbed the tube from the bottom of my purse. Still watching the road ahead, I unscrewed the cap and used the sponge applicator to rub the moist balm on my mouth.

At the next traffic light, I looked in the rear view mirror to check my application of lip gloss. Something did not feel quite right, and I wondered what was wrong. To my surprise, when I looked in the mirror I realized that I had applied ivory toned concealer instead of lip gloss. My lips were now the same color as the skin surrounding them!

As I looked for a tissue to wipe away my mistake, I thought about the fact that sometimes it would be best if my lips really were concealed, or better yet – sealed! I recalled many times when being silent would have been a much better choice than speaking my mind. The reflection in my mirror reminded me that I frequently speak harshly to my husband or children and say things to them that I would never say to others outside my home. When stressed or frustrated, I submit to the urge to “say the last word” during an argument. More often than not the “last word” should be eliminated from my vocabulary. There are other times when the problem might be the tone I use to speak to my loved ones; in other words, it’s not what I say, but rather how I say it.

The Bible has many lessons on how we should talk to others and the types of conversations we should be having with them. Here are a few verses to meditate upon concerning our speech:


  • Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning… Proverbs 10:13

  • When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. Proverbs 10:19

  • The lips of the righteous nourish many…Proverbs 10:21

  • A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

  • He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity. Proverbs 21:23

  • A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Proverbs 25:11

  • But I tell you that men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken. Matthew 12:36

If we all hit the pause button on our lips and think about these instructions, we can live more harmoniously with our families, friends, co-workers, acquaintances…even strangers who cross our paths. More importantly, our testimony will not be tarnished by the use of careless words. Stop and think about the visual of “concealed lips” before you snap back with a quick response to someone in your “line of fire.” Use words that build up, rather than tear down.  You never know when your kind words may be life-changing for someone.  Choose to sow peace with your words, rather than anger.

…my lips are concealed. J