James 1:26-27 (NLT): “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you, [by its customs, beliefs and culture.]”
Thoughtless and careless words are a constant attack on the foundation of human relationships.
I liked the advice Selwyn gives, on things we can do, to help us in this area. He writes: “Dedicate your heart and your tongue to the Lord daily[Romans 12:1]. Assume responsibility for every word you speak [Matthew 5:21-22]. Ask those around you what offensive words you use [Proverbs 17:10]. Learn how to use words that encourage, edify, comfort and inspire [Hebrews 10:24-25]. Ask a person’s forgiveness if you offend them with wrong words [Matthew 5:23-24]. Encourage your friends to tell you when you offend them by your words [Proverbs 27:6].”
I think the first point is a good one, because it reminds us on a daily basis of the need to carefully choose our words.
There are a group of people who speak first and think later – if, they invite God’s Spirit to guide them each day, with their choose of words – then, there will be, I think, a lot less ‘hurt’ within our Christian community.