October 25

Reflection

Speech is a powerful gift. We can inspire, offer compassion, share wonder, encourage, express love. We can also wound, demean, sow discord, spread negativity, or deceive. Our speech reveals a great deal about who we are. It may deceive others but usually not for long. Eventually our own words expose us for good or for ill.
“Be careful with your words, but primarily with your mind; do not let evil thoughts start talking to you. Do not let your mouth say words that could perhaps wound your brother or sister. Let your mouth put forth words which are fragrant: words of consolation, courage and hope. It is a person’s words that reveal the interior, inner person.”
(Elder Ephraim of Philitheou)

Prayer

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord
Psalm 19:14

Action

How can I speak words of encouragement and support in my family, workplace or community? Is my manner of speaking sometimes hurtful to others? How can I be careful of this and more sensitive?

Suggested Reading

Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
Luke 6:45

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers… Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Ephesians 4:29;31

A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
Proverbs 12:16

The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just.
Psalm 37:30

Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs.
Pearl Strachan

Kind words do not cost much. They never blister the tongue or lips. They make other people good-natured. They also produce their own image on men’s souls, and a beautiful image it is.
Blaise Pascal

Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.
Napoleon Hill

Words have a magical power. They can bring either the greatest happiness or deepest despair; they can transfer knowledge from teacher to student; words enable the orator to sway his audience and dictate its decisions. Words are capable of arousing the strongest emotions and prompting all men’s actions.
Sigmund Freud

Words are sometimes signs of ideas; sometimes of the want of them.
Eliza Cook

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