Read James 3:1-12.

v 10.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

Children may chant ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.’ Really? Hurtful words cause lasting damage, especially to children. Not surprisingly, the bible has a great deal to say about the words we use. In Matthew 12:26 we find Jesus reminding people ‘But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.  For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

The cause of justice is best served by truth spoken with love. Harsh words spoken in haste, or bitter words deliberately designed to wound, should never be on our tongues. Christian believers are to be fashioned in the same mould as Jesus, speaking graciously to all. Paul’s injunction in Ephesians 4:29 is ‘Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.’

Speech is to be pure and positive, helping people to grow. Critical, destructive comments have no place on the Christian’s tongue.