Words Matter

Scott Bullman

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.”
Galatians 5:16-17 (NLT)


“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
Psalm 19:14 (NLT)

The Power of our Words:

“People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue…”
James 3:7-8a (NLT)

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)

“Words kill…words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.”
Proverbs 18:21 (The Message)


• Words that Encourage

“So, encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)

• Words that Inspire

“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”
1 Corinthians 15:58 (NLT)

• Words of Kindness and Gentleness

“Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
Proverbs 16:24 (NLT)

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Colossians 3:12 (NLT)

“Gentle words are a tree of life, a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
Proverbs 15:4 (NLT)

• Words of Truth and Honesty

“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.”
Proverbs 27:29 (NLT)

“In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery.”
Proverbs 28:23 (NLT)

“…Speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ…”
Ephesians 4:15 (NLT)

• A Timely Word

“Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time.”
Proverbs 15:23 (NLT)

“The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry.”
Proverbs 25:11 (The Message)

• A Smart Word

“From a wise mind comes wise speech…”
Proverbs 16:23a (NLT)

“Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.”
Proverbs 10:19 (NLT)

“The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”
Proverbs 17:27-28 (NLT)

“Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.
3 We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. 4 And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. 5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.
But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.”
James 3:2-6 (NLT)


• Critical Words

“Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.”
Proverbs 12:18 (NLT)

“Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”
Ephesians 4:29 (NLT)

• Slanderous Words

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”
Proverbs 6:16-19 (NIV)

Proverbs 16:2 – “All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord.”

“Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow.”
Proverbs 25:18 (NIV)

• Gossip

“A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.”
Proverbs 16:28 (NLT)

“Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.”
Proverbs 18:8 (NLT)

Proverbs 11:13 “A gossip goes around telling secrets,but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.”

Romans 12:17 – “Never pay back evil for more evil.”

“Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.”
Proverbs 26:20 (NLT)

• Inappropriate Words

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil”
Proverbs 4:23-27 (NIV)



A heart filled with BITTERNESS speaks ANGRY words
A heart filled with FORGIVENESS speaks GRACIOUS words

A heart filled with ENTITLEMENT speaks COMPLAINING words
A heart filled with GRATITUDE speaks UPLIFTING words

A heart filled with GUILT speaks HARSH words
A heart filled with PEACE speaks TENDER words

A heart filled with REJECTION speaks RESENTFUL words
A heart filled with ACCEPTANCE speaks KIND words

A heart filled with GRUMBLING speaks NEGATIVE words
A heart filled with THANKSGIVING speaks POSITIVE words

A heart filled with CONDEMNATION speaks JUDGMENTAL words
A heart filled with LOVE speaks COMPASSIONATE words

A heart filled with JEALOUSY speaks words of GOSSIP
A heart filled with CONTENTMENT speaks words of BLESSING

A heart filled with SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS speaks CRITICISM
A heart filled with HOPE speaks ENCOURAGING words

8 No one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12 Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.”
James 3:8-12 (NLT)