When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but the prudent are restrained in speech. (Proverbs 10:19 NRSV)

I remember a story of a young dentist who had an awful morning with mostly young patients who wouldn't keep their mouths open. His last patient of the day was a woman, and he greeted her with excitement, "Welcome! I can't tell you how pleasant it is to work on someone with a big mouth!"

We have all put our foot in our mouth from time to time. Speaking before thinking and then realizing we said something foolish. Words are powerful. They have the force to hurt or heal. Too often we choose our words carelessly.

May we be prudent in the use of our words, as our scripture reading today suggests. May we use words carefully to build up the people of God, especially those who are hard to love.

Dear God, you spoke and the world was created. May my words be powerful in building up your people in love. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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