What kind of 'words' do you use when speaking to a loved one, co-worker, or friend? What about when you are tired or angry? How often to you use encouraging words versus put-downs?
Paul says in Colossians 2:2 --"My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love..." Earlier, in Verse 1, he has told his friends, "I want you to know how much I am struggling for you..."
Paul understands the importance of encouraging words, and he is struggling to say the right words to bring his friends closer to Christ, "so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ...."
1. Think of a recent occasion when the words you used may have been less than encouraging. What should you have said instead?
2. Replace each of the following negative statements with a positive one. Is there a specific person you have in mind when you say the negative statement? If so, practice saying the positive statement instead.
- You always do the wrong thing
- You will never amount to anything
- You will never finish school
These are strong statements that can destroy people and relationships...or maybe these are statements you tell yourself?
STOP IT!! STOP DESTROYING YOURSELF AND / OR OTHERS.
The tongue...the words we use are powerful. In James 3:5-12, Scripture reads:
"Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness.
Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.
Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water."
Advanced: The Bible discusses the importance of words and the need to 'tame the tongue' in numerous Scriptures. Find them and describe their meaning...here are a few:
Psalms 31:20; 57:4; 64:3; 140:3;