By Effie Rolfe, Chicago Crusader
Words are like eggs; if you let go of them, you cannot get them back. This is a powerful African proverb that reminds us to pay attention to our speech, for words have a lasting affect.
Scripture clearly reminds us to watch our words: “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment” (Matt 12:36).
A lot of times when you think what you say is mere talk, trust me—your conversation has the power to create, build up and destroy. What’s so sad is that too many of us walk around ignorant of this very fact. Growing up, my mom constantly reminded us that we would have to give account of every idle word that was spoken. To be honest, a constant reminder to sit still and be quiet would be great to have, even today.
Now I recognize the significance of her teachings, and try my best to apply them to everyday life (Matthew 12:36). She knew that our words would produce a very real world. How badly mistaken I was to find out that my mother being quiet was not indicative of her having little to say. Now my heart weeps for the times I failed to listen more, but rather, allowed words to carelessly utter from my lips in jest.
Too often, we complain about outside forces, yet so often it’s the words that we have spoken concerning our own lives, family, career and friendships that have caused a good, bad or ugly situation. Unfortunately, no one is to blame but me—myself and I—life and death is in…the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).
Yet, I am thankful that the prayers of the righteous interceding on my behalf intercepted some of those deadly expressions of mass destruction that could have taken me out, under and away from my destiny.
But God—His mercy allows us to understand the power that He has given us through speech, for generations to come. This truth is applicable regardless of your status in life. Even in the court of law, you are advised that what you say can and will be used against you.
And the tongue is afire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell (James 3:6 New American Standard Bible).
Since life and death is in the power of the tongue, it is essential to choose life and cautiously adhere to sound principles and begin to listen more than you speak. Again, God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason and throughout scripture, we’re reminded to let our words be few (Ecclesiastes 5:2).
Let your words be few—say what you mean and mean what you say. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times that your words have power. Unfortunately, I have regretted time and time again of speaking too swiftly.
The bottom line is to be careful and think about the words that are coming out of your mouth which will bring a lasting effect, whether positive or negative to your children and your children’s children. The less you say the better, so only say what’s necessary—let your words be few.
The wise old owl sat in the oak—the more he saw—the less he spoke. The less he spoke—the more he heard. Why can’t we all, be like that bird? (Anonymous)
Watch your words—they last forever…
©Effie Rolfe is an Author of “Supersize Your Thinking,” Media Personality and Motivational Speaker. You can contact her on twitter.com/effiedrolfe. Listen to her show daily on urban- praiseradio.org. (2015 Stellar Award Winner for Best Internet Radio Station).