You know that "sticks and stones may break your bones" thing? Is it true that "words will never hurt me"?
The Bible talks a lot about our words. Sin has many languages: Gossip, slander, lying, unwholesome talk, cursing, coarse joking, divisiveness - even the truth, when not spoken in love, seems to be a powerful weapon we use against each other.
James speaks much about how bad the tongue (what we say) can be, in James chapter 3. Verse 6 is especially blunt:
The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
James also says in James 3:2 -
We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
It almost seems that one of the final tests of our spiritual maturity is the ability to control the things you say.
Jesus also made a pretty bold statement about what we say:
But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."
- Matthew 12:36-37
If your words can acquit you or condemn you, what will be the result of the conversations you have had just today? Can we become mature enough to hold ourselves accountable for what we say today so God doesn't have to later? What's the standard by which my words can be judged?
Ephesians 4:29 - Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (emphasis mine)
Rank yourself on how you talk about the following things; A (Always good); B (Sometimes good); M (Mostly bad); C (Completely bad):
1. ____ God
2. ____ The church
3. ____ My church
4. ____ My spouse
5. ____ My children
6. ____ My extended family (including in-laws!)
7. ____ My boss
8. ____ My workmates
9. ____ My President (evangelicals?)
10. ____ Everything else