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I don't know how many times I have spoken words that I ought not to have uttered. Far too many times to count, and far too many times I have needed to repent of words foolishly spoken. I think it's really easy for us to say what does it matter what I say in any given moment? Jesus said we'd give an account for every word carelessly spoken (Matthew 12:36). That's why it matters.

And there's another reason. Paul, in Ephesians 4:29 said that we should not let any unwholesome word come out of our mouths. Unwholesome actually needs rotten. You wouldn't eat garbage nor do you want to spew garbage. Paul says to hold our tongues, so to speak, so that we would live according to the need of the moment, giving what is needed, and giving grace to those who hear. God gave us two ears. And a mouth. And our ears hear the words that are spoken. And while we can quote the old adage time and time again, "sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never harm me", it just isn't true.

Words do hurt. Words we speak and words others speak. You might even say you don't care what other people say about you. But you really do. We are all blurryfaced (thanks twentyone pilots) and we do care what people think. We all have our own insecurities, don't we? Maybe you've gotten calloused in your heart because so many strong words have been spoken against you. Or maybe you don't think anymore about how you talk to others. It matters. It matter supremely because we are to glorify God in our bodies. Whether we eat and drink or whatever we do, we are to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31). So what we put into our bodies and what comes out matters.

Colossians 3:17 says that we ought to do everything we do in the name of the Lord Jesus – because of who Jesus is and what He did at the cross and what He currently does – giving thanks to God joyfully through Him. That completely alters my attitude and perspective. It rearranges my priorities. It leads me kindly to repentance, to resolve to walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh, to encourage rather than discourage others. Think about that the next time you're tempted to lash out in anger, let loose that insensitive word, or to tell that off-color joke. Think about it before you speak. As Psalm 141:3 says, "Set a guard, O Lord, over my lips." Just think about it. And just in case you are discouraged by your thoughts, words, and actions - just remember, and be encouraged - there is freedom and healing in Christ.

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