Counselor's Corner: Why What We Speak Matters
by stephanie reck

Recently my husband and I decided to challenge each other with who could go an entire week without complaining, criticizing or faultfinding. When we started I was so enthusiastic as I proudly got out 2 mason jars, one for him and one for me to fill. Throughout the week we were to put a peanut in the jar if we complained, criticized or found fault with each other, ourselves and other people.


Wouldn’t you know at the end of the week, my mason jar was full of peanuts! Ugh, I was just sure I had control over my lips.


The mason jar challenge was a reminder to me to why what I speak matters. Had I forgotten that careless words can hurt ourselves and others? I still carry some scars from the demeaning and thoughtless words that were spoken over me as a child. Merely words had the ability to cause me to doubt myself and be riddled for decades with a lack of confidence.


Why does it matter what we speak? Are our words that powerful?


Reflect on these truths as we look at what scripture says about what we speak:


“A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.” Proverbs 18:4


“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” Proverbs 13:3 “


Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths; but only such is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to the hearer.” Ephesians 4:29 “


Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are at of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” Ephesians 5:4


“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, that you may know how to answer each person.” Colossians 4:6


“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” James 1:26


“To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” Titus 3:2


“Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.” Proverbs 10:19 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat of its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21


Which scriptures spoke to you? All of them? Do you need to repent, I know I do? How I have used my words to tear down instead of building, and how I have used my mouth to speak “death instead of life.”


Ask yourself if your words build up or tear down more.


Words that build-up are:

Encouraging Edifying


Bring hope




Words that tear down are:







Our words have enormous power for good and for evil. Our tongue will either bring blessings or curses upon us.


A wise person will speak truth in love when it is time and when it is needful. Speaking into someone’s life carelessly or just brutally honest without restraining one’s lips from speech that would be hurtful rather than helpful can do more damage than not saying anything.

Stephanie R. Reck, LMSW, LBT, BCCC
Founder of Hope Ministry
[email protected]
Hope Ministry, @2021
Author of, "Disciplining Your Mind 30 Days to a Better You!"

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