Daily Devotionals

100% Week 2 Thursday

It's better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home. Proverbs 21:9

You have probably heard the saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Unfortunately, this statement is completely false. Words can be incredibly hurtful. The truth of the matter is that words are powerful. For better or worse, words affect us. They can build us up, or they can tear us down. Scripture teaches us about the power of words and calls followers of Christ to be encouragers with our words, building people up. This is one of the ways we can remain faithful in our relationships.

Proverbs, a book of the Bible full of wisdom, talks about the importance of using our words wisely. Proverbs 21:9 says, "It's better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home" (verse 9). In other words, quarreling only tears down a household. It weakens the relationship, sometimes in a very difficult way to repair. In other words, words are powerful. Proverbs 18:21 says it this way: "The tongue can bring death or life." In light of the power that our words hold, it stands to reason that we take the words we say seriously and offer encouragement and life with our words, especially in our most important relationships, including with our spouse. 

I read on Cooks Hill Counseling's website that one way we can think about using our words wisely is to use the acronym "THINK." Are the words we say true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind? This acronym calls us to speak the truth and be trustworthy with our word. It encourages us to make sure that our words are helpful, offering advice and encouragement to the people around us. It calls us to use our words to inspire and make people want to live better lives and honor God. It reminds us to make sure the words we say are necessary and have a purpose for being spoken. Finally, this acronym calls us to let kindness be the lens for the words we say. When we use this acronym, we can be purposeful and intentional with the words we say each day. After all, they are powerful.

We know from Scripture the importance of speaking wisely with encouragement. The question is, how will we use them? Will we build our relationships up, or will we tear them down by the words we say? Let's use our words to bring life. How will you encourage the people around you with your words today?

Moving Toward Action

Take a few moments and think about how people's words have impacted you, for better or for worse. If you would like, write about these moments in your journal. Next, think about who you can encourage. If you are married, let this person be your spouse. If you are single, think of someone in your life who you know needs encouragement. Finally, make a plan for how you can encourage these people and build them up with your words and actions today.

Going Deeper

Proverbs 21:1-31 (NLT)

The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord;

he guides it wherever he pleases.

People may be right in their own eyes,

but the Lord examines their heart.

The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just

than when we offer him sacrifices.

Haughty eyes, a proud heart,

and evil actions are all sin.

Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity,

but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.

Wealth created by a lying tongue

is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap.

The violence of the wicked sweeps them away,

because they refuse to do what is just.

The guilty walk a crooked path;

the innocent travel a straight road.

It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic

than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.

Evil people desire evil;

their neighbors get no mercy from them.

If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded become wise;

if you instruct the wise, they will be all the wiser.

The Righteous One knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked;

he will bring disaster on them.

Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor

will be ignored in their own time of need.

A secret gift calms anger;

a bribe under the table pacifies fury.

Justice is a joy to the godly,

but it terrifies evildoers.

The person who strays from common sense

will end up in the company of the dead.

Those who love pleasure become poor;

those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.

The wicked are punished in place of the godly,

and traitors in place of the honest.

It’s better to live alone in the desert

than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.

The wise have wealth and luxury,

but fools spend whatever they get.

Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love

will find life, righteousness, and honor.

The wise conquer the city of the strong

and level the fortress in which they trust.

Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut,

and you will stay out of trouble.

Mockers are proud and haughty;

they act with boundless arrogance.

Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin,

for their hands refuse to work.

Some people are always greedy for more,

but the godly love to give!

The sacrifice of an evil person is detestable,

especially when it is offered with wrong motives.

A false witness will be cut off,

but a credible witness will be allowed to speak.

The wicked bluff their way through,

but the virtuous think before they act.

No human wisdom or understanding or plan

can stand against the Lord.

The horse is prepared for the day of battle,

but the victory belongs to the Lord.