At the start of the new year, let’s consider together the words we use and the power of words. 

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O God.” – Psalm 19:14

Think for a moment about the words you’ve spoken in the last hour, the last day, the last week. Have the words of your mouth (those you’ve spoken out loud, those you’ve spoken on social media) and the meditations of your heart been acceptable in light of God’s holiness and our holy calling?

What’s really on our minds and in our hearts comes out when we’re under pressure. Jesus confirmed as much when he said in Matthew 15, “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” And by way of explanation, Jesus said, “What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.”

Words matter and no words matter more than the Word of God.

So, what does God’s Word have to say about the words we use?

Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Philippians 4:8 “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Ephesians 5:4 “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”

As the people of God, agents of His grace and ambassadors of His Kingdom, Christians have a responsibility to bring the Word of God to bear in everyday life. We do so by speaking truth and sowing peace. 

But what are our neighbors searching for? Well, according to the YouVersion app, people searched for verses to quell their fears in 2020. What will they be searching for in 2021? How about we use our words to ask them! 

Recently, I had a conversation with Don Everts about what Neighborly Faith actually looks like.  We may not live in Mister Roger’s neighborhood but we can certainly all be neighbors in the spirit of Jesus this year.

Listen to Carmen’s full interview with Don Everts on pursuing the common good in your neighborhood here:

Carmen's conversation with Don Everts