“Words satisfy the soul as food satisfies the stomach; the right words on a person’s lips bring satisfaction.” (Proverbs 18:20)
During my teens and twenties, I said whatever came to mind. Since depression reigned during those years, what I said often failed to benefit anyone. A habit of careless words indicated a much larger problem within the atmosphere of my inner self.
While raising a toddler, the impact of my words on myself and others suddenly jumped out in stark contrast to the person I wanted to be. The desire to change grew well beyond what others thought of me — my reputation — and straight to the heart of the person I truly was — my character.
My character displeased God. Nothing else mattered. If I failed to control my words, I knew the consequences would be significant. My careless words indicated a problem deep within, and the path to change came first through conviction (Matthew 28:36-37), then through accepting grace (Romans 4:7-8), and then through obedience.
Confessing the problem and accepting forgiveness started the process. Following the path of obedience — conforming my likeness to His — needed to follow in order for my life to truly please my Heavenly Father.
“Those who love to talk will experience the consequences, for the tongue can kill or nourish life.” (Proverbs 18:21)
In this still-ongoing process, many lessons stand out regarding the significance of the words I say.
- Careless words reveal unchecked emotions.
- Careless words mean a lack of self-control over my influences.
- Careless words say more about the speaker than the receiver.
- Careless words indicate an out-of-balance inner atmosphere.
- The more I try to control situations and people, the more careless words I say.
- The more I talk, the less others seem to listen.
- Admitting to careless words means admitting to a deeper problem, usually pride.
- Fear of being misunderstood often causes me to say too much.
- Lack of sleep and proper nourishment impact the ability to control my words.
- Writing slows thoughts down and causes careful consideration of my words.
Careless exist as an indicator that some aspect of my inner self needs aligned. The sooner I make the necessary adjustments, the less impact the consequences have on myself and others.