In the previous installment of this post, by the same title, I focused on the fact God’s words are pure just as He is faultless, perfect, and untainted. I find great comfort in that, particularly when reading a definition for purity that defines it as, “freedom from anything that debases.” In Christ alone will we find that type of freedom.
In part two we will look at the opposite of purity or pure words. During my research, I filled nearly a full page with scripture references on the negative use of words. One could say the negative use of words debases.
• to make lower in value, quality, character, dignity, etc.; to cheapen
Unfortunately, those living in the USA have been blasted with numerous words that debase. I’m referring to our political campaigns of candidates running for office. During these times, it seems few hold sacred the character of their opponent. What would happen if they viewed their opponent as a creation of Almighty God? What would a campaign be like if it avoided words and ads that debase? I know that’s not likely to happen in a world tainted by sin, yet it is good to imagine.
For me, it brought to mind David’s righteousness as he fled King Saul. Saul’s ambition was evil and unjust, he was hunting David down with the intent of destroying him. Twice David was close enough to act with vengeance but he did not. David chose to hold a sacred value on Saul, who was attempting to kill him (see 1 Samuel 24).
Can we learn from David’s actions? Can we apply the principles in our daily lives and in the choice of words we speak? Next, let’s see what we can extract from Bible verses that have something to say about the negative use of words.
Negative Words Cut
“His buttery words are smooth, but war is in his heart. His words are softer than oil, but they are drawn swords” (Psalm 55:21, CSB).
“See what they spew from their mouths – the words from their lips are sharp as swords” (Psalm 59:7a, NIV).
“Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the plots of evildoers. They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows” (Psalm 64:2-3, NIV).
Notice the repeated imagery of swords in each passage. A sword is a sharp instrument that can be used to cause damage and destruction. Likewise, negative words can do great damage and be a basis of destruction.
While doing this study, I also noticed a recurring use of the word “many”. The passages themselves speak clearly about the root of many words.
“When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is prudent” (Proverbs 10:19, CSB).
“Just as dreams accompany much labor, so also a fool’s voice comes with many words” (Ecclesiastes 5:3, CSB).
“For when there are many words, they increase futility” (Ecclesiastes 6:11a, CSB).
“When you pray, don’t babble like the Gentiles, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words” (Matthew 6:7, CSB).
For Further Study
Reread the verses above and meditate upon the caution warnings about how we use words.
Father God, thank You for giving us Your word. Thank you for teaching us to be wise when we communicate. Convict us when we use words as a weapon of evil. Cause us to be quick to listen and slow to speak. Let the words of our mouths and the thoughts in our hearts be pleasing to You O Lord. Blessed be Your name!
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About page if you want to read more of my story.
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Scripture quotation added by Manette Kay.