What does the Bible say about words?
Words are powerful, they give expression to the abstract in ways that a single image cannot.
The primary way we communicate is through words. Words have specific meanings – and we must us them correctly.
Christian quotes about words
“Be careful with your words. Once they are said, they can be only forgiven, not forgotten.”
“O Lord, keep our hearts, keep our eyes, keep our feet, and keep our tongues.” – William Tiptaft
“Words are free. It’s how you use them, that may cost.”
“Words can inspire. And words can destroy. Choose yours well.”
“Our words have power. They impact others, but they also impact us.” — Michael Hyatt
“Study universal holiness of life. Your whole usefulness depends on this, for your sermons last but an hour or two: your life preaches all week. If Satan can only make a covetous minister a lover of praise, of pleasure, of good eating, he has ruined your ministry. Give yourself to prayer, and get your texts, your thoughts, your words, from God.” Robert Murray McCheyne
“Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.” Blaise Pascal
“With the help of grace, the habit of saying kind words is very quickly formed, and when once formed, it is not speedily lost.” Frederick W. Faber
Bible verses about the power of words
Words can convey images, and intense emotions. Words can injure others and leave lasting scars.
1. Proverbs 11:9 “Evil words destroy one’s friends; wise discernment rescues the godly.
2. Proverbs 15:4 “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
3. Proverbs 16:24 “Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
4. Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Building each other up with words
While words can injure, they can also build each other up. We have a great responsibility to wield our words with careful consideration.
5. Proverbs 18:4 “A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.”
6. Proverbs 12:18 “There is one who speaks rashly like he thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Words reveal the condition of the heart
Words reveal our sin nature. Harsh words come out of a harsh spirit. When we find ourselves being prone to ungodly words, we should look carefully at our sanctification journey and see where we have faltered.
7. Proverbs 25:18 “Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow.”
8. Luke 6:43-45 “For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”
Guarding your mouth
One way we progress in sanctification is by learning to guard out mouth. We have to carefully consider each word and tone that comes out.
9. Proverbs 21:23 “Whosoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.”
10. James 3:5 “In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.”
11. James 1:26 “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.”
12. Proverbs 17:18 “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.”
13. Titus 3:2 “To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy to all people.”
14. Psalm 34:13 “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.”
15. Ephesians 4:19 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
The most important words are the God-breathed words that have been given to us. Jesus is also the Word of God. We must cherish the very words of God so that we can reflect the Word, that is Christ.
16. Matthew 4:4 “But He answered, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
17. Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
18. Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
19. 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
We will one day give an account of our careless words
Each and every word that we utter will be judged by the most perfect and just Judge. Words carry great weight and meaning, so He wants us to use them wisely.
20. Romans 14:12 “So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.”
21. Matthew 12:36 “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an account for it in the day of judgement.”
22. 2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
Our words should reveal a changed heart
When we are saved, God gives us a new heart. Our words should reflect the change that has occurred in us. We should no longer talk with crass descriptions or with profane language. Our words should be glorifying to God.
23. Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
24. John 15:3 “Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.”
25. Matthew 15:35-37 “The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Words are not empty. Scripture commands us to not use words lightly, but to make sure that they reflect the Holy Spirit who indwells in us. We have to be a light to the world – and one way we do that is by not using the same crass language that the world does.