When we think of gift giving, we most likely consider what the person needs or wants, what they will enjoy or use most. We consider if we are going to grab a gift card, get a specific item, or even attempt to make a gift by hand. These gifts we give on special occasions — birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, house warmings, baby showers, etc. This tradition makes it seem as if there has to be something special in place for us to do something special. And yes, sometimes there’s the “just because” gifts which do not follow this standard pattern.
Of all the gifts aforementioned, we forget that we so easily give gifts each day. As we so carefully choose the gifts we give our friends, families, and others for specific moments, we neglect to consider the every-moment-of-life scenario. It is too easy for us to forget to realize that our words are powerful and that they are given to others. Words can escape the mouth in a blink of the eye. We speak so much and many times do not even consider this power in the tongue. I know I need to be more slow to speak.
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:29 that we should not be speaking words that are ugly words or hateful words. We should not say these words. Instead, we are to speak encouraging words, words filled with grace. These spoken words are beautiful gifts. These words lift up, inspire, help to create something positive. We have a choice to make with our words, and there should always be thought and intention behind them.
Once spoken, words cannot be taken back. I remember the ugly gifts and beautiful gifts I’ve been given in the past. It is the ugly words that haunt me when I am having a difficult time. It is the ugly gifts that keep me from trying something new, that cause me to second guess myself, that bring me pain. It is the beautiful words that bless me to move forward.
God has given us this beautiful gift — His Word — and it is such a precious, important, sacred, alive and active powerhouse. His Word helps to get us out of the pit, sings over us, shines a light, provides Truth and comfort. It is His Word that keeps us from falling, empowers us, guides us, and is to be hidden deep within our hearts and yet shouted from rooftops.
But God also gives us tongues to speak words to others. We are in community with others — in families, in friendships, at work or school, in neighborhoods, etc. — to do life, to engage, etc. and this requires speaking. So the question today is are you handing out beautiful gifts or ugly ones? Are you using your tongue to bless, to encourage, to pour out the same grace He has given you?
Consider today the words you speak. Be intentional. Consider what fruit will come of your words. Are you planting judgment and anger? Are you planting death and insults? Are you planting motivation and love? What are the words you wish to speak today? Will they be beautiful gifts?
“And never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them.” – Ephesians 4:29 [TPT]