In one of his confrontations with the Pharisees, Jesus addressed the evil in the Pharisees by teaching us that our words reveal what is in our hearts. The way we speak, not just the words themselves but the way that we speak reveals who we are on the inside. The Pharisees’ words toward Jesus were intending to destroy him; Jesus responded with very strong language by calling them offspring of serpents. Why did he use that description of them? Their actions reflected the actions of Satan whose intent is to steal, kill and destroy. By their words, the Pharisees sought to condemn and destroy Jesus, they were revealing who they really were and who they were unknowingly following.
On the other hand, a person’s words and communication that reflect love, joy and peace reveal all that the apostle Paul identified as the fruit of the Spirit. That form of communication identifies an individual as being a child of God. We often don’t think of how important and revelatory our words and communication are. The proverb, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” is actually a lie. Words can devastate an individual, even though they may never break a bone. On the other hand our words can impart life to an individual who sorely needs it. Have you ever considered that Jesus, and later the early church, used primarily words to bring healing and even life back to people? Our words carry both great power to help others, while at the same time they also reveal what is in our heart.
Take to heart what Jesus teaches and reflect on what your communication with others reveals about yourself. What impact does your communication have upon those who receive it? Does it build others up and impart life, or does it tear others down and seek their downfall?