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Dear COA Family,

Have you ever paid close and careful attention to your words?

Sometimes we may employ our words in praising others. At other times, we may use our words to criticise, reprimand or even gossip about others behind their back. And still at other times, we may indulge in speaking words that have no meaningful purpose; in other words, talking nonsense.

Yet the Scriptures remind us constantly that there is effect in the use of our words. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

We know what this verse means. This is because we have all been encouraged by someone else’s words and strengthened as a result to persevere in doing good. At other times, we have also been hurt and wounded by unkind words spoken against us, words to bring us down or to make others think worse of us. Words are therefore not merely sounds and syllabuses that come out from our mouths but have the power to influence lives.

Consequently, God treats very seriously this gift of power he has entrusted to us. He used words to create the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1). And he shares with us the same ability to create and destroy through our words as well. That is why Jesus says, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak” Matthew 12:36. 

Knowing this, let us pay greater attention to what we say and refrain from even speaking words which are careless and have no meaning or purpose.

Instead, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” Colossians 4:6.

We can all use this final month of the year to make a conscious change in our behaviours. Strive to give thanks for God’s goodness in our lives and share his good news at every opportunity. This will not only bring much benefit to those who hear us, but also help us grow in maturity and faith.

The apostle James tells us that our speech is a true mark of our spirituality. “Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check” James 3:2.

So, the next time you speak, pay attention to your words. They are not only things that will bring blessings or judgment to yourselves and impact to others, but they are also revealers of your true state of heart and spirituality. You will know a lot about yourself through your words.

Have a blessed final month of 2022!

Revd Ian