I was sitting at my computer a few weeks ago, typing an email that would be going out to several people. Knowing that emails can sometimes be misconstrued due to the lack of emotion (or in my case, sarcasm) that we’re able to transport via Internet, I sought out a trusted “proof-reader.”
I called my friend and said, “Listen to this and tell me if you think it sounds okay.” She listened and when I was done she said, “You might want to delete that last line.”
We laughed about it when I realized how it might come across to the others, and I, of course, erased the last line of my email. But this got me thinking. If, when our words fly out of our mouths, we could delete any lines that might have been hurtful, wouldn’t that be wonderful?
If we could take them back as if they were never spoken, how peaceful things would be! But that’s not how it works, is it? Words can be painful and God has something to say about it. Because words can’t be retrieved once they have rolled off the tongue, scripture tells us to weigh them carefully before we let them go.
Proverbs 16:23 reads, “A wise man’s heart guides his mouth.” We must not be careless with the things we speak because we can’t begin to undo the damage when we prove to be reckless. So I challenge you to determine in your own heart to choose your words carefully today.
It may take some extra thought and patience, but chances are you won’t have to “delete the last line!”
“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”
– Proverbs 25:11 (NIV)
“Patient Father, Your words are perfect. They bring life and healing to those they fall upon. I pray that my words would be a blessing to those around me and that I would use them carefully as I seek to honor You. May my words be…”