We use words to praise God, worship Him and to glorify God. We use words in our prayers. Although when praying in tongues, we don’t use words, we go beyond words.
But in all these, God sees our heart. So words, although important, are of lesser importance in our communication with God!
But with men & women, the majority are not capable of seeing the heart. For this reason, the words we use have a greater significance. Hence, we should be aware of the Bible’s perspective of words. The most important perspective is that of Our creator.
Before going there, an intentional diversion to Psalm 16
I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore, my heart is glad and my glory, (my inner self) rejoices; my body too shall rest and confidently dwell in safety. (Psalm 16:8,9)
Here you see how the words of an upright person shall deliver himself as well as the innocent ones. Here is the verse. The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them and the innocent ones thus endangered. (Proverbs 12:6)
This verse reminds us : the words of a man shall cause goodness to pour on him and satisfy him with goodness From the fruit of his words a man shall be satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hands shall come back to him as a harvest.(Proverbs 12:14)
In this verse the word, refers to the Word of God. Whoever despises the word and counsel of God brings destruction upon himself, but he who reverently fears and respects the commandment of God is rewarded.(Proverbs 13:13)
We need to speak honest encouraging words with sincerity to one another. Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but an encouraging word makes it glad. (Proverbs 12:25)
We need to restrain our mouth, speak words after carefully considering them. We need to ensure that we do not have a loose tongue, speaking whatever comes to our mind. He who guards his mouth keeps his life, but he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.(Proverbs 13:3)
The importance of speaking gently needs to be cultivated. Many a time, my prudent wife like the Holy Spirit, quickened me in this way. A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
It’s wisdom to keep quiet. Literally keeping silent and not reacting becomes a saving grace. In the fool’s own mouth is a rod to shame his pride, but the wise men’s lips preserve them. Another version of the Bible states like this. A fool’s proud talk becomes a rod that beats him, but the words of the wise keep them safe.(Proverbs 14:3)
Be aware that a tree of life, is present when wholesome words are spoken. A gentle tongue (with its healing power) is a tree of life, but wilful contrariness in it breaks down the spirit.(Proverbs 15:4) Another version says, A wholesome tongue is a tree of life.
Question) What kind of person abides in God’s presence, his tabernacle, in his holy hill? We know that a person who stands in God’s presence will not fall.
Answer) Psalms 15 answers this question perfectly well. This psalm describes the type of person who abides in God’s presence. Then goes on to enumerate these qualities.
- Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
- Those who refuse to speak wrongly/ gossip or harm their neighbours or speak evil of their friends.
- Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honour the faithful followers of the Lord, and keep their promises even when it hurts. You can honour a person by doing things which pleases him, you honour a person by addressing him with the right words.
- Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie (speaking untruth) about the innocent.
The bolded portion in the 4 points above just reiterates speaking. Here is the verse represented verbatim. This kind of person abides in God’s presence. The more you understand, you will be careful to use the appropriate words. The verse concludes by summarising, this kind of person shall not be moved as he abides in God’s presence. Here is the version in the Bible.
He who walks and lives uprightly and blamelessly, who works rightness and justice and speaks and thinks the truth in his heart,
He who does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his friend, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbour;
In whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he who honours those who fear the Lord (who revere and worship Him); who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
He who does not put out his money for interest (to one of his own people) and who will not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.(Psalm 15: 2 to 5)