Nov 4, 2015

Warfare Wednesday: Wielding Worthy Words

Say that three times fast. As I pondered a title for today’s post, I couldn’t help myself. Yes, I know, very corny (groan).
But, oh, so very important.
Yesterday at a meeting at my apartment complex, people weren’t happy with what they heard so they started talking over each other trying to get their points made. The volume increased as they complained at the poor guy who was speaking and at the apartment manager.

A woman near me raised her hand and shared something positive. I raised my hand and followed suit by sharing another peacemaking comment. It definitely seemed to help guide things in another direction. I used words to bring peace instead of adding to the strife.
Today, not so much.

At a meeting with some of my staff and a vendor who has been difficult to work with at times, the vendor said something that pushed my buttons. Instead of a wonderfully peacemaking comment, or saying nothing, I made an extremely sarcastic remark. My staff liked it, and it felt good to say it.

I could easily justify myself. I didn’t attack anyone personally, I didn’t use foul language, and I didn’t say anything that wasn’t true. Isn’t it OK to lose your cool every now and then? After all, we’re human. Plus I apologized for saying it, twice.
Yet I still feel bad about it. Why? Here’s an excerpt from a chapter in Intentional Warfare about words.
Recently during my quiet time, about a week after I read Romans 6:13, the Lord gave me another life-changing revelation. This time it was on the infamous James passage about the tongue. Specifically, these verses:

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. (James 3:9-10)

In God's fine-tuning of my words, He showed me cursing isn't always overt, loud, or angry. He revealed to me a series of questions I can ask myself about all I write, speak, and even think.
Is what I'm about to write or speak going to

build up...or tear down?
encourage...or discourage?
praise...or cut down?
bring laughter...but at someone else's expense?
sound witty...or cutting?
promote unity...or breed strife?
make peace...or incite war?
make someone laugh...or hurt their feelings/mock them?
honor...or disrespect?
foster trust...or spread gossip?

Quite a list, isn't it? I don't know about you, but I have many days where I spend way more time on the right side than on the left side.
God showed me that an "or" in my list is cursing—bringing death with my words instead of speaking life. I can share two hours of awesome God stories with someone and invalidate it in a quick minute with careless cursing.
Granted, our lives are about God and not about us or about "getting it right." But we are called to bring Him glory and honor and to witness to His goodness. How can we do that when we curse, sometimes more than we praise?

I did not speak to build up, or to make peace, or to honor, or to promote unity. I tore down, bred strife, and disrespected. I may have looked and felt good for a moment, but I felt bad for a whole lot longer. 
And God was not honored.
As authors, we often need to go back and get a refresher lesson from our own words – worthy words that wield wonderful wisdom. God uses our words to teach us as much as He uses them to bless our readers, that’s for sure!

Three weeks and counting, Intentional Warfare will be available. More info next week…stay tuned…


  1. That's quite a list of the impact of our words. Most of the time, I open my mouth without giving a whole lot of thought as to how they will affect the other person. If I take a minute to reflect on how I would feel if someone said that to me, my words would change considerably! I can't wait to read Intentional Warfare, Mary!

  2. Excellent post. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thank you, Sherry, you are always encouraging with your comments. Yes, i sometimes eat a whole lot of shoe, but, as God changes me i see it less and less on the menu. If there is hope for me, there is hope for everyone :-).

    Myra, you, too, have ALWAYS been encouraging. Don read your comment and thought it was really encouraging, I don't know what happened to me. Thank you for commenting, I appreciate it!


Thank you for your G-rated comments!