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     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. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Eph. 4:29-30 
     The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Prov. 18:21
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Prov. 12:18
     Glorious Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—I praise you for the incalculable riches of redemption you’ve lavished on us in the gospel. Father, for planning such a glorious salvation; Jesus, for accomplishing all things necessary to redeem your pan-national Bride and restore creation; Holy Spirit, for faithfully applying the finished work of Jesus to us.
     My heart overflows with gratitude this morning; may my words do the same. You spoke the Word which gave life to my dead spirit—giving me both the will and the wherewithal to believe the gospel. Forgive me when I speak words, or even think words, which have the opposite effect on others, bringing discouragement, decay, even death.
     Holy Spirit, you faithfully preach the gospel to my heart—incessantly telling me that I’m a beloved child of God. Continue to so fill my heart with the beauty of Jesus that, like Balaam’s donkey, I cannot help but offer blessings to others. Train my heart and tongue in gospel-speak. Make me fluent in the vocabulary of heaven. Convict me quickly when my words are poorly chosen, intentionally hurtful or when there are simply too many of them. Forgive me I waste a moment and words on my irritation and impatience.
     You’ve sealed me for the day of redemption. I don’t want to sadden or grieve you by a foolish and hurtful misuse of words. I’m called to build up, not tear down. You study my needs and speak only helpful words to my heart. Educate me in the needs of my family and friends that I might likewise only speak words of encouragement and hope—even when that requires saying the hard things. There’s always a redemptive way to communicate even the most difficult things. Don’t let me think otherwise.
     Lord Jesus, I praise you for taking the Father’s word of final judgment on the cross, that I might hear him speak the words of complete welcome and acceptance in my heart. May my words reveal humility, beauty and truth, and may they bring healing all this day long. So very Amen I pray, in your holy and loving name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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