In the last week or so, I have been thinking about throwaway words. These are words spoken without much thought, shared without caution, without pause. Throwaway words are spoken when you are lounging, laughing, playing, idle, or even bored. They are words that should not be taken too seriously. Words that supposedly do not mean much. An afterthought. Words that are spoken as an addition to another comment, a “nothing much”.
The only problem is, because they are not taken so seriously by the author or owner, they have the ability to do serious damage regardless of intention. Throwaway words do not always need malicious intent to cause injury. The harm they cause can be likened to the man that was killed because he slipped and accidentally fell on an upturned knife while dancing to his favourite song.
Let us see what the Bible says…
“This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth! My friends, this can’t go on.”
James 3:7-9 MSG
“Reckless words are like the thrusts of a sword, cutting remarks meant to stab and to hurt. But the words of the wise soothe and heal”.
Proverbs 12:18 TPT
I still remember what someone said to me and after over 10 years, I still wince when I remember. Or the comment a friend made. He was joking, he meant ‘nothing by it’, yet, months later, I still pause and force myself to remember, the intention was not to harm.
In both cases, they were throwaway words. Words which meant nothing to the one who spoke them but a lot to the person they were spoken to.
We are all guilty of ‘talking anyhow’ as Nigerians like to describe it. We do not filter our words. We share a joke we heard or repeat something we saw and enjoyed, not minding that there may be someone present, who would be negatively affected by what they hear.
That is what they do.
When I began to realise the impact of my words on both myself and others because quite frankly, our throwaway cause harm to our selves as well as to others. I started praying the following;
“Take control of what I say, O Lord , and guard my lips.“
Psalms 141:3 NLT
I began to listen to what I said, how I said it and very recently, how I wrote things. If I got it wrong, I would use my words to try and rectify the damage. Speak more words so the new words would erase the old. Sometimes, they never did. The damage was already done. Sometimes, they did but once you break glass, it is difficult to reassemble without scars.
As you go about your week, remember the power you carry in your tongue…
“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”
Proverbs 18:21 NLT
Speak gently with people. Be kind and use your words to speak life. Don’t throw words at people. Use your words to build, heal and support. Be careful with what you say and also how you say it. Don’t be the person who leaves broken-hearted people in your wake because you cannot guard your mouth.
I will leave you with this…
“Let every word you speak be drenched with grace and tempered with truth and clarity. For then you will be prepared to give a respectful answer to anyone who asks about your faith.”
Colossians 4:6 TPT
This should also be applied in all your speech. Abandon throwaway words. They are never useful.
Love and Blessings,