Session 1

A foolish mouth can be your undoing

From Choosing Words Wisely: A 9-Day Devotional

Think about the past 24 hours. What did you spend time talking about?

In 2007, researchers at the University of Arizona found that on average men and women speak roughly 16,000 words in a day. That’s a lot of communication, and God cares about each and every word. James, Jesus’ brother, wrote that if we consider ourselves people of faith but don’t control our tongues, our beliefs are worthless.

So how do we know if we're using our words wisely? Proverbs 15 describes the difference between the way the wise and the foolish speak. Fools like to hear the sound of their own voice, speaking first and thinking later. Their words often land them in hot water. They slander others and speak highly of themselves. They despise correction and refuse good advice. The wise know how to hold their tongue, speak kindly, and share good advice. 

Every word we speak is an opportunity to build others up or tear them down, to give God glory or promote our own importance. In Matthew 12:36, Jesus warns us that we will give account for every careless word we speak. So let’s not waste any more words. Take time today to be intentional about what you say.


  • Think of a few conversations you've had this week. Are there any careless words you need to ask someone to forgive?
  • How often do you listen instead of waiting to speak? What can you do to be a better listener?
  • Who do you know who could use some encouragement? Make time today for an encouraging text or phone call.

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