There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.
The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, ‘You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out, but it won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound will still be there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.
Do you consider your words that are said on a daily basis? Do you consider your reactions to people and situations, and the words that result from your reactions? The Holy Spirit warns us to watch what we say with the family of God and with people in general. In fact, the Holy Spirit challenges us with an exclusive charge.
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. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Is kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you? Ephesians 4:29-32
A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the
bars of a castle. Proverbs 18:19
Are you careful regarding the words you speak every day? Are you prayerful regarding the words you speak every day? Do you consider the Holy Spirit’s influence on your words and speech on a daily basis? Notice in Ephesians it speaks of “not grieving the Holy Spirit, by whom you were sealed.” May we call on the Holy Spirit to help us use our speech like nails in a fence. May we be carefully aware of the impact our speech can have to encourage the day of every person we meet (whether we know them or not). Your speech matters… use it to God’s glory!