homiletica et cetera

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Posts tagged war of words

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Choice Words: A Matter of Life and Death

Having been out of grade school for a few years I’m not sure if the old saying is still ordinary playground parlance: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” If it is it’s still a lie.

The Bible is more honest. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21). Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of that Proverb reads, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”

Our word choices can give life to, or kill, our marriages, families, friendships and churches. One of the most common causes of marital failure is poor communication. “He just doesn’t talk with me,” says a lonely wife. A berated husband says, “She talks alright, I just wish she would let me talk.” A hurting child says, “I get so embarrassed when my parents talk to others about things that I would like to be kept private.” Parents grieve over the disrespectful way their children speak to them. One major breach of confidentiality can be enough to ruin a budding friendship. A famine of fitly-spoken words can bring death to a whole congregation.

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Filed under Watch your words communication war of words Taming the tongue