Words really do matter! How incredible the impact of what we say. Pointed and sharp, critical and hurtful, slanderous and demeaning, words are bullets that do not bounce off our body but sink themselves deeply into our hearts. No wonder the Bible informs us: “The tongue is a fire” (James 3:6).
Yet between the “what” of our words, we must also concern ourselves with additional concerns of speaking:
Tone: Did I yell or raise my voice? Did I exercise disrespect by talking over the other person?
Tense: Am I bringing up the past or speculating about the future?
Timing: Is this the best moment to address this situation, especially for the hearer?
Tact: Was I thoughtful, careful and sensitive in the words I chose to speak?
Tangibility: Am I using clear, sensible, objective terminology in my words?
Before you speak too quickly, measure your words. Evaluate them with the wisdom of scripture. Would you want to receive your own speech? How would you respond to such words?
Though we have just one mouth, this “cave” contains a mighty member inside (i.e. tongue) that can wreak havoc. Be careful.