Imagine if you squeezed all the toothpaste out of the tube, and it was on a saucer in front of you. Now try and put that toothpaste back in the tube. Of course, you can't; once the toothpaste is squeezed out, you can't put it back.
The same is true of our words. Even if someone demands for us to "take what we've just said back, we can't. You can't put the words you have just spoken back in your mouth any more than you can squeeze toothpaste back into a tube.
This makes me think that we should be more careful of our words because our words carry the power of life and death in them. We can build up, encourage, love and bring wisdom and grace with our words, or we can tear down, destroy, hate, fear and spout absolute rubbish. Our words can cut and wound people and, in extreme cases, even have the ability to drive people to take their own lives.
God wants our words to be words that are filled with life; seasoned with grace, love, offense, and hope so that people love being around us because our words lift up and encourage them so much.
The bible says that out of the mouth, the heart speaks, so it's important for us to deal with our hearts; to forgive quickly, keep out of the way of offense, and fill our hearts with those things that are good, true, praiseworthy, and worth thinking about. What we allow into our hearts and think about is what we will say.
"A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart." (Luke 6:45)
A helpful little acronym is to "THINK" before you speak:
T – Is it True?
H – is it Helpful?
I – is it Inspiring?
N- is it Necessary?
K – is it Kind?
Today, consider the value to the listener of the words you speak. Please THINK before you speak because you can't take it back easily once you've said something.
Make your words one's that everyone listening to wants to repeat. And that they are words you especially want little children and others around you to benefit from hearing.
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what helps build others up" (Ephesians 4:29)
Prayer: Lord, help me understand the power of my words and not underestimate how good and bad my words can cause to both myself and those listening to me. Please remind me to guard my heart, for out of my heart, my mouth speaks, so my speech will be full of life-giving words today. And "let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord." (Psalm 19:14). In Jesus' Name Amen.