Words hold immense power – the power to heal or to harm. The Bible, a cornerstone of wisdom and guidance, addresses the profound impact that our words can have on others.
In this article, we explore various Bible verses that specifically speak to the theme of words that hurt.
These verses provide a sobering reminder of the potential damage our speech can inflict, urging us to be mindful and responsible with our language. They also offer guidance on how to use our words for good, promoting kindness, understanding, and reconciliation.
Whether you are seeking personal growth, looking to improve your relationships, or striving to live more fully in accordance with biblical teachings, these verses offer valuable insights into the significant consequences of our words and the moral responsibility we have in our communication.
Proverbs 12:18 is a powerful reminder of the impact of words. It states that “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” This verse emphasizes the importance of using words carefully and thoughtfully, as they can either harm or heal.
The first part of the verse warns against using words rashly, as they can be as painful as a sword thrust. This highlights the potential for words to cause harm, and the importance of being mindful of what we say. It is crucial to consider the impact of our words before we speak, especially when we are feeling angry or upset.
On the other hand, the second part of the verse emphasizes the power of wise words to bring healing. This highlights the potential for words to be a source of comfort and support, and the importance of using them to uplift and encourage others. It is essential to choose our words carefully and use them to build others up, rather than tear them down.
According to James 3:6, the tongue is a fire that can corrupt the whole body, set the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. This verse emphasizes the power of the tongue and the importance of controlling the words that come out of our mouths.
The tongue can be used to bless or curse, to build up or tear down. As such, we must be mindful of the words we speak and the impact they can have on others. James 3:10 reminds us that “out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”
In addition, James warns against those who use their tongue to deceive and manipulate others. He states in James 3:14-16 that “if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”
Therefore, it is important to use our words wisely and with kindness, avoiding gossip, slander, and other forms of negative speech. We should seek to build others up and encourage them, rather than tearing them down with hurtful words.
Ephesians 4:29 is a well-known Bible verse that emphasizes the importance of using words that are helpful and uplifting to others. The verse reads, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
This verse reminds us that our words have the power to either hurt or heal others. It encourages us to be mindful of the impact our words can have on those around us and to choose our words carefully.
Using words that are helpful and uplifting to others can have a powerful impact on their lives. It can help to build them up, encourage them, and give them the strength they need to face life’s challenges.
On the other hand, using words that are hurtful and negative can have a devastating impact on others. It can tear them down, discourage them, and make them feel like they are not valued or loved.
Proverbs 15:1 states, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” This verse emphasizes the importance of using gentle words when communicating with others. It suggests that responding with kindness and understanding can help to prevent conflicts and de-escalate tense situations.
This verse also implies that using harsh or hurtful words can have the opposite effect, causing anger and resentment to build up in others. It is essential to be mindful of the words we use and how we use them, as they have the power to either heal or hurt.
In today’s world, where communication is often done through digital means, such as social media, it is more important than ever to be mindful of the words we use. It is easy to hide behind a screen and say things we would never say face-to-face, but the impact of our words can be just as powerful.
Proverbs 18:21 is one of the most well-known verses in the Bible about the power of words. It says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” This verse highlights the immense power that words have to either bring life or cause harm.
This verse emphasizes the importance of being mindful of the words we use and the impact they can have on others. Words can be used to encourage, uplift, and inspire others, or they can be used to tear down, hurt, and destroy.
Matthew 12:36-37 states, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” These verses emphasize the importance of being mindful of the words one speaks, as they have the power to either hurt or heal.
Proverbs 26:22 says, “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” This verse warns against the dangers of gossip and spreading rumors. The words of a gossip can be just as harmful as physical wounds, and they can penetrate deep into a person’s heart and soul.
It is important to be mindful of the words we speak and the impact they can have on others. Gossip and rumors can destroy relationships and reputations, causing pain and suffering for those involved. Instead, we should strive to speak words of kindness, encouragement, and truth.
This verse also highlights the importance of guarding our own tongues and being careful not to spread rumors or participate in gossip. We should seek to build others up and speak words of life, rather than tearing them down with hurtful words.
James 3:8 says, “But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” In this verse, James emphasizes the power of the tongue and the difficulty of controlling it. He acknowledges that the tongue can be used for both good and evil, but warns that it is often the source of harmful words that can hurt others.
The tongue is a small part of the body, but it has the power to cause great harm. James compares it to a restless evil, full of deadly poison. This metaphor emphasizes the uncontrollable nature of the tongue and the potential danger it poses.
Despite the difficulty of controlling the tongue, James encourages believers to strive for self-control and to use their words for good. He reminds us that the tongue can be used to praise God and to encourage others, as well as to hurt and destroy.
Proverbs 11:9 warns against the destructive power of words. It states that the godless can destroy their neighbors with their mouths, but the righteous can escape through knowledge.
This verse reminds us of the importance of using our words wisely and with kindness. We should be careful not to speak harshly or hurtfully to others, as our words can have a lasting impact on their lives.
Furthermore, this verse emphasizes the value of knowledge and understanding. By seeking knowledge and wisdom, we can learn to use our words in a way that builds others up and promotes positivity and kindness.
Psalm 52:2 warns about the danger of using words to deceive and hurt others. The verse describes the tongue of deceitful people as plotting destruction and being like a sharpened razor.
This verse serves as a reminder that our words have the power to either heal or hurt others. When we use our words to deceive or hurt others, we are causing harm that can have lasting effects.
It is important to be mindful of the impact our words can have on others. By using our words to build others up and show kindness, we can create a positive impact in the world.
Psalm 52:2 also highlights the importance of being truthful in our speech. When we use our words to deceive others, we are not only hurting them but also damaging our own integrity and reputation.
Proverbs 16:28 states, “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” This verse warns against the harmful effects of gossip and the actions of those who use their words to cause strife and division.
The word “perverse” in this verse refers to someone who is twisted or distorted in their thinking and behavior. Such a person may use their words to twist the truth, spread false rumors, or intentionally cause conflict between others.
The second part of the verse highlights the destructive power of gossip. When someone spreads rumors or talks behind another person’s back, it can quickly lead to the breakdown of relationships and friendships.
As Christians, it is important to be mindful of our words and how we use them. Proverbs 16:28 reminds us to avoid gossip and to use our words to build up and encourage others, rather than tearing them down.
James 1:26 states, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” This verse emphasizes the importance of controlling one’s speech and using words wisely. It warns against the danger of speaking recklessly and the harm it can cause to oneself and others.
The verse suggests that true religion involves not only outward actions but also inward attitudes, including self-control. It implies that a person’s speech reflects their character and spiritual maturity. Therefore, one should be careful to speak words that are truthful, kind, and edifying.
The verse also suggests that self-deception is a real danger. A person may think they are religious, but if they do not control their tongue, their religion is worthless. This implies that one should be honest with oneself and recognize the areas in which they need to improve.
Proverbs 15:4 states that “Kind words are good medicine, but deceitful words can really hurt.” This verse emphasizes the power of words and their ability to either heal or harm.
The use of kind words can have a positive impact on a person’s well-being. When someone is feeling down or going through a tough time, a kind word can provide comfort and encouragement. It can lift their spirits, give them hope, and help them feel valued and appreciated.
On the other hand, deceitful words can cause great harm. They can damage relationships, cause emotional pain, and even lead to physical harm in some cases. Deceitful words can be used to manipulate, control, and hurt others.
Ephesians 4:31 is a powerful verse that encourages people to get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, and every form of malice. It is a reminder that we should strive to be kind and compassionate to one another, just as in Christ God forgave us.
This verse emphasizes the importance of forgiveness and moving away from negative emotions and actions. It encourages individuals to let go of grudges and resentments and to treat others with kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.
Proverbs 25:23 states, “As the north wind brings forth rain, so a backbiting tongue brings angry looks.” This verse compares a backbiting tongue to the north wind that brings unexpected rain. Just as the rain can cause inconvenience and discomfort, the words spoken by a backbiting tongue can cause anger and hurt.
The verse emphasizes the power of words and how they can affect others. Backbiting refers to the act of speaking negatively about someone behind their back. This behavior can be hurtful and damaging to relationships, causing anger and resentment.
The comparison to the north wind and rain also highlights the unpredictability of hurtful words. Just as the rain can come unexpectedly with the north wind, hurtful words can come unexpectedly from someone we thought was a friend or ally.
Proverbs 10:19 states that “sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.” This verse emphasizes the importance of being careful with our words and not speaking recklessly. It is not about the quantity of words we speak, but the quality of our speech that matters.
In today’s world, where social media and online communication have become prevalent, it is easy to fall into the trap of speaking too much and saying things that we may later regret. Proverbs 10:19 reminds us that we should be cautious with our words and avoid speaking impulsively.
The verse also highlights the value of silence. Sometimes, it is better to stay quiet than to speak something that may hurt others or cause damage. Being prudent and holding one’s tongue can prevent unnecessary conflicts and misunderstandings.
In Psalm 64:3, the psalmist describes those who sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows. This verse speaks to the power of words to cause harm and inflict pain on others. The imagery of sharpened swords and deadly arrows emphasizes the intentionality and malice behind hurtful words.
The verse suggests that those who use their words to hurt others are actively seeking to cause harm. They are not simply careless with their language but are intentionally using their words as weapons. This is a sobering reminder of the impact that our words can have on those around us.
While the verse focuses on the negative power of words, it is important to remember that words can also be used for good. Proverbs 16:24 states that gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. This verse reminds us that our words have the power to heal and uplift others.
Proverbs 17:4 states, “A wicked person listens to deceitful lips; a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.” This verse emphasizes the importance of being cautious about the words we hear and speak, as they can have a powerful impact on our lives.
The verse warns against listening to deceitful lips, which can lead to wickedness and harm. It also highlights the danger of paying attention to a destructive tongue, which can spread lies and cause harm to others.
This verse reminds us to be mindful of the words we speak and the words we allow ourselves to hear. It encourages us to seek out truth and wisdom, and to avoid harmful and destructive speech.
In today’s world, where social media and online communication have made it easier than ever to spread harmful words, this verse is especially relevant. It reminds us to use our words wisely and to be mindful of the impact they can have on others.
Proverbs 6:19 warns against spreading lies and rumors that can cause strife among brothers. The verse states, “A false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”
This verse emphasizes the importance of honesty and integrity in our speech. It reminds us that words have the power to hurt and cause conflict, and we should be careful with what we say.
As Christians, we are called to speak truth and love, and not to spread rumors or lies about others. Proverbs 6:19 serves as a reminder to be mindful of our words and to use them wisely.
Colossians 3:8 is a verse that reminds Christians to put away anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, and filthy communication out of their mouth. This verse emphasizes the importance of controlling one’s words and avoiding hurtful language.
As Christians, it is important to remember that our words have power and can deeply affect others. We should strive to speak with kindness and love, even in difficult situations. This verse encourages us to be mindful of our words and to avoid using them to hurt others.
In addition to avoiding hurtful language, Colossians 3:8 also reminds us to put away anger and malice. Holding onto anger and bitterness can be harmful to ourselves and those around us. Instead, we should strive to forgive others and let go of our anger.
Psalm 140:3 talks about the power of words to hurt. The verse says, “They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s; the poison of vipers is on their lips.” This means that some people use their words to hurt others, just as a snake uses its venom to harm its prey.
The verse is a reminder that words have power. They can be used to build up or tear down, to heal or hurt. It is important to be mindful of the words we use and how we use them.
In the context of the Bible, the verse also speaks to the idea of spiritual warfare. The psalmist is asking God to protect him from those who use their words to harm him. It is a reminder that there are forces at work in the world that seek to harm us, and that we need God’s protection and guidance to navigate these challenges.
Proverbs 21:23 states, “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” This verse emphasizes the importance of controlling one’s speech and the power of words. It is a reminder that words can have a significant impact on the speaker and the listener.
The verse suggests that by controlling one’s tongue, a person can avoid getting into trouble. This means that one should think before speaking and choose their words carefully to avoid offending others or causing harm. It also implies that one should avoid gossiping or speaking negatively about others, as this can lead to conflict and trouble.
Proverbs 29:20 warns against being hasty with words. It says, “Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.” This verse reminds us to think before we speak and to choose our words carefully.
Speaking without thinking can lead to hurtful words that can damage relationships and cause pain. It is important to take the time to consider the impact our words may have on others before we speak.
This verse also suggests that someone who speaks in haste may be seen as foolish. This is because speaking without thinking can lead to mistakes and misunderstandings.
1 Peter 3:10
1 Peter 3:10 states, “For, ‘Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.'” This verse emphasizes the importance of controlling one’s words and avoiding harmful speech.
In today’s society, it is easy to fall into the trap of using hurtful language, whether it be in person or online. However, as Christians, we are called to be mindful of our words and to use them to build up others, rather than tear them down.
This verse also reminds us that our words have consequences. The things we say can have a lasting impact on those around us, and it is important to use them wisely.
Proverbs 12:6 says, “The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them.” This verse emphasizes the power of words and how they can be used for good or evil.
The wicked use their words to harm and hurt others, while the upright use their words to rescue and save. This verse reminds us to be careful with our words and to use them wisely.
Matthew 15:18 states, “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.” This verse emphasizes the importance of being mindful of the words we speak because they reflect the condition of our hearts.
Proverbs 18:7 states that a fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul. This verse warns against the dangers of careless speech and the harm that it can cause. It is a reminder that words have power and must be used wisely.
The verse suggests that foolish speech can lead to a person’s downfall. It can cause harm not only to others but also to oneself. The words that a person speaks can be a trap that ensnares them, leading to negative consequences.
This verse is a call to be mindful of the words that one speaks. It is a reminder that words have consequences and that they must be used with care. One must be aware of the impact that their words can have on others and on themselves.
Proverbs 10:18 states, “Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips and spreads slander is a fool.” This verse emphasizes the importance of being truthful with one’s words and avoiding spreading rumors or lies about others.
The verse also highlights the danger of harboring hatred and using deceitful language to hide it. Such behavior not only harms the person being targeted but also reflects poorly on the person spreading the slander.
The prudent person, on the other hand, chooses their words carefully and avoids speaking recklessly. They recognize the power of their words and use them to uplift and encourage others.
Proverbs 29:5 warns against the danger of flattery. The verse describes a person who flatters their neighbor, saying only what is agreeable and applauding their words and actions indiscriminately. This person is not a true friend, as they are spreading a net for their neighbor’s feet. If a person listens to such flattering words and is influenced by them, they work their own ruin, self-deceived and unaware of the danger.
Flattery is a form of manipulation that can be harmful to both the flatterer and the person being flattered. It can lead to a false sense of security, encouraging people to make decisions based on false information. Flattery can also be used to exploit people’s weaknesses, making them more vulnerable to manipulation and control.
Proverbs 15:28 in the New International Version of the Bible says, “The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.” This verse emphasizes the importance of thoughtful speech and highlights the contrast between the righteous and the wicked.
The first part of the verse suggests that the righteous carefully consider their words before speaking. They weigh their answers, taking into account the situation and the impact of their words. This deliberate approach to speech shows wisdom and discernment.
In contrast, the mouth of the wicked gushes evil. This suggests that the wicked speak without thought or care for the consequences of their words. Their speech is characterized by impulsiveness, thoughtlessness, and a lack of concern for others.
This verse reminds us that our words have power and that we should use them wisely. We should take care to consider the impact of our words on others and choose them carefully. This is especially important in situations where our words could cause harm or damage relationships.