Psalm 34:2 “My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.”
Do you realize the powerful effect your words can have on other people? Someone who was minding their own business and just going about their day can suddenly become angry, sad, encouraged, or even joyful just because of what we say to them. What a wonderful privilege to be able to affect others so powerfully just by our words.
In Ephesians 4:29 Paul urges us to “not let any unwholesome talk come out of (our) mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Think of it. We can build others up and bring blessing and benefit to those who listen to us – or we can do the opposite, and tear them down.
Psalm 34:2 gives an example of how specifically we can do good for others with our words. It says that any boasting we do should be boasting “in the Lord.” This means that we exult Him, lift Him up, and praise Him (and not ourselves), when we talk to others. It means that when we have the opportunity, we share the good news of the gospel with them, telling them how they can be forgiven of all their sins and have eternal life through a relationship with the One who loved them enough to die for them. We are reminded in Scripture of “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns” (Isaiah 52:7).”
Such words are expressions of love – our love and God’s love – to others. People recognize that love is in our heart when it is truly there, “for from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).” And they recognize a lack of love just the same – for love “does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way (I Corinthians 13:4-5).”
May good, helpful, gracious, and loving words be the things that come from our mouth, and heart. May we take full advantage of the many opportunities that are given to us to build others up with our words, rather than tear them down.