If You Can’t Say Something Nice . . .

Clydesdale HorsesRefraining from saying hurtful or harmful things, avoiding gossip and slander; using our words to help instead of to hurt  

Words are the voice of the heart. Confucius

A generous heart repairs a slanderous tongue. Homer

Never throw mud. You may miss your mark, but you will have dirty hands. Joseph Parker

   When we hear, “If you cannot say something nice do not say anything at all;” we might have memories of our mother saying this to us. They should remind us of our mother’s wisdom and why she was trying to teach us this very important truth.

   Hurtful words are one of the scourges of society; doing much harm and damage, sometimes even destroying lives. What comes out of our mouths can hurt, harm and destroy or can be used to uplift, heal and even build. In today’s world lives are severely damaged if not destroyed by the media’s willingness to say or print words that may or may not be true. Our primitive nature seems to respond and relish in the sensational, the nasty, dirty, and the despicable side of life. Negative news sells more than positive news. We have a very sad state of affairs.

    While we are not responsible for others actions, we are responsible for our own. Whatever we say or do, or do not say or do, is our responsibility. We can use our words and deeds for good or we can use them harmfully. Each of us either contributes or detracts from making the world a better place by our words and deeds. It is easier to do harm and damage by what we say in words than what we do in our actions. It takes considerably more effort and self control to manage the use and quality of our words. It does take more conscious intent to perform bad deeds than it does to issue harmful words. We speak before we think and the damage is done. Many of us lack the wisdom and self control to practice; “If you cannot say something nice, do not say anything at all”.

    When we think about the plight of our world, we may say; “What can I do about it? One answer is to be a better steward of the words we speak. We can try to put forth a conscious effort to use our words for good, being more positive and uplifting, rather than harmful and degrading. This will actually be uplifting for us. If the majority of us made a conscientious effort to be more kind and considerate, what a difference might be made in the lives of those around us. The world needs more encouragement. There is already plenty of discouragement.

Challenge: You have considerable power and influence in the words you speak on a daily basis. Your words and how you intend them, impacts the lives of those around you; peers, friends and loved ones. Do you do more tearing down than you do building up? You can choose to make a difference. Become more of an ambassador of good words and good tidings. Uplift, build up, encourage and listen. You can help to make a difference.

Wisdom: A kind word is never lost. It keeps going on and on, from one person to another, until at last it comes back to you again. Unknown  

Spiritual: (NIV)

Your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor, you who practice deceit. Psalm 52:2

Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. Isaiah 3:10

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Psalm 34:13  

What we do and what we say have their origins in our heart, soul and mind. Many of us believe that we will be held accountable for not only what we do, but also, for what we say. The Bible teaches responsibility and accountability. The world has major problems with these issues. The more we seek after God, his teachings and his instructions, the more we will be guided by his love. This will lead us down the path to more righteous living.

Prayer: Help me to increasingly become a better steward of my thoughts, words and actions. 


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