Proverbs 26: Words Which Fall Short

Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest. – Proverbs 26:2

Words are powerful. Our tongues have the power of life or death. We can use our words to encourage or discourage, to build up or to tear down. Most of Proverbs 26 is about the power of words.

We must be prudent in our choice of words, ensuring that our words are healing and not harmful. When people are foolish rather than wise, their words will be frivolous (v. 4), untrustworthy (v. 7), hurtful (v. 9), quarrelsome (v. 17), insensitive (v. 18), gossipy (v. 20), argumentative (v. 21), and hypocritical (v. 24). It’s no surprise that many are so badly hurt by words seeing that this world is full of people who are filled with earthly folly rather than heavenly wisdom.

So, the question remains, how do we as believers protect ourselves from negativity and slanderous comments directed towards us? Here’s how I believe the Bible answers this question in our key verse for today.

Proverbs 26:2 states, “Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.”

In other words, when someone speaks badly about you or disrespects you with their words for no good reason, these words will be like arrows that fall short of where you are standing. They will do no harm to you. In fact, the text also suggests that harm may come to the one who spoke them to begin with. We are called to be wise in our use of words, but we are also not to worry about those who speak negatively about us. God walks before us, beside us, and behind us, and fights those battles.

Before you speak, use this acronym to help you THINK about your words.
T-Is It True?
H-Is It Helpful?
I-Is It Inspiring?
N-Is It Necessary?
K-Is It Kind?

Father God, help me to remember daily the power that my words have. Give me a greater understanding of your grace in my life, and how that keeps me from harm when it comes to the words of others directed towards me. Help me to THINK about everything that I say, especially in the heat of conversation. Thank you for this day. In Jesus’ name, amen.
– Lisa Copeland

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