Read: James 3:1-12

From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. (v. 10)

When I was in sixth grade, I had a favorite pair of dangle earrings. They made me feel stylish and a little bit sassy. So when I got glasses and braces at the same time, I wore my favorite earrings to boost my fragile confidence. I walked into school pretending I felt great about the way I looked. And that’s when Lisa took one look at me and said, “That’s an awful lot of metal for one face.”

I don’t remember what I did after that, whether I took off the earrings or if I hid my metal smile, but I do remember her words. They haven’t ruined my life, but clearly they had power if I still remember them more than two decades later.

All words have power. It was with words that God created the whole world! And the words that we use shape reality, too. That means we have a choice about what we create with our words. If we use our words to bless God but then turn around and with our words tear down the people whom God made and loves, we create confusion and disorder. Instead, we need to use our words to build up the people around us and help us all to remember God’s love for us. And that means both the way we speak to and about people. —Jen Petersen

As you pray, ask God to help you be mindful of the way you speak to and about people.