In the Peanuts Thanksgiving show, Peppermint Patty calls Charlie Brown to let him know she is coming over for Thanksgiving. “My parents said I could come over for Thanksgiving, Chuck. I will be over, Chuck. Wear something nice, Chuck.” She invites a few other people until there is a whole group of visitors going to Charlie Brown’s home for Thanksgiving dinner, but there is a problem. Charlie Brown was going to go to his grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving.

“I’ve tried to tell Peppermint Patty I’m not going to be home,” Charlie Brown says at one point in the show, “but I can’t get a word in. She talks all the time.”

Our words are powerful, and they are like toothpaste. Squeeze too much toothpaste out of the tube. Putting it back is almost impossible, and it makes a big mess in the process. Our words are the same way. We can’t put words back in our mouth, and when too many come out, it can make a big mess. To avoid the mess, Scripture suggests we choose our words carefully.

  • “Understand this my dear brothers and sisters,” James 1:19 encourages, “you must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”
  • According to Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”

Our words carry with them the power to direct our lives. Our words build up or tear down relationships. Words can build someone’s confidence or cause great heartache and discouragement. Our words, whether out of our mouth or via our keyboard, have tremendous power, which is why it is essential we choose our words carefully. Here are 5 questions we should ask before speaking.

  1. Are these words kind?
  2. Are my words beneficial to the recipient? As Christians, we are to build one another up with our words.
  3. Are my words necessary?
  4. Would I be embarrassed if I was quoted?
  5. Would I want someone to say this to me?

The average person can speak 100 to 130 words per minute and type 60 to 65 words per minute. We can quickly get words out and be on to the next one, but the impact our words have can last for a long time. In some cases, their impact can be felt for a lifetime. Being entrusted with something this powerful requires careful use. You and I should be slow to speak; choosing our words carefully is one of the ways we are recognized as being with Jesus.

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