Every so often I’m reminded of the power of the spoken word. Either by building up or tearing down—what we say has a lasting effect. And whether on the school playground, office water cooler, or church pew, our words are received. The question is, how do we ensure we heal rather than hurt? Compliment rather than crush? Encourage rather than extinguish? How on earth do we speak with grace?
“Let every word you speak be drenched with grace and tempered with truth and clarity.” Colossians 4:6a
Drenched with grace. Every word. Did you catch that? Anyone else raising a brow? I know, it seems like a tall order. But God never leaves us hanging, He always provides a way that results in us coming to Him for all the wisdom and strength and answers we need. So let’s begin with looking at what grace is, according to some very smart, eloquent folk:
“Grace means undeserved kindness. It is the gift of God to man the moment he sees he is unworthy of God’s favor.” Dwight L. Moody
“Grace is but Glory begun, and Glory is but Grace perfected.” Jonathan Edwards
“Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues.” John Stott
“Grace is the only thing that is ever enough.” Ann Voskamp
And so we begin to see glimmers of what grace is ras it’s revealed to us by God’s love and mercy when He lavishes this gift upon us in a perfect outpouring of undeserved favor.
John Piper says: “It is incredibly encouraging that God’s grace is both the inclination of the divine heart to treat us better than we deserve and is the extension of that inclination in practical help.” That gift of grace God bestows upon us? We get to pass it on to others. Specifically, with our words “seasoned with salt”, kind and knowledgable, gentle and generous. And in case we start to have a full-on panic attack at the thought of all that pressure, Jesus assures us that His grace is sufficient to help us in our weakness. We are not in this alone.
Remember, being on the receiving end of grace is a gift! And as recipients of God’s grace through Jesus, we have the privilege of passing it on to others. Even those we don’t deem deserving. Especially those we don’t deem deserving. Starting with our words…
- SPEAK FORGIVENESS: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
“And you know, when you’ve experienced grace and you feel like you’ve been forgiven, you’re a lot more forgiving of other people. You’ re a lot more gracious to others.” (Rick Warren) There is such power in forgiveness. And not only is it beneficial to others, it’s a blessing in our own lives as bitterness is uprooted and replaced with joy, love, and peace.
- SPEAK KINDNESS: “When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.” Proverbs 31:26
Wouldn’t you like to be known as a woman who spoke words of encouragement, spiritual insight, and deepest wisdom? No criticizing, never a word of sarcasm (who, me?), zero spiteful remarks, and all loveliness and light. Is it too lofty a goal to speak nicely at all times? Perhaps we can start by being intentional to use the filter of kindness.
- SPEAK GENTLENESS: “…Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear.” James 1:19
We are often too quick to fill up the beauty of silence, firing off poisonous words like a wild machine gun, hitting everyone in sight. The tongue can try to back-peddle after the fact, but malicious words are impossible to take back, even if they are forgiven. Speed is one of the tongue’s greatest downfalls—it takes a second to mortally wound with this small but deadly weapon. Let’s lead with our ears.
Honestly, “taming the tongue” is an ongoing battle for me—and maybe for most of us. But there is hope when we remember that our words are an overflow from our hearts. A source, a wellspring of sorts. And when we fill our hearts with God’s goodness, the truth of His Word, the gift of His grace, then our words will, in turn, be filled with love and truth, emulating the grace-filled flow of ink from the most learned writer’s quill:
Friend, we can make a difference in our corner of the world—starting today—by drenching our words with grace!
P.S. I’d love to hop into your inbox once a month with some grace-filled words from “Laura’s Letters”—my newsletter, complete with a book giveaway, book reviews, recipe, and a little soul encouragement. Sign up HERE!
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! Check them out: