Are Your Words Necessary and Helpful?

Teenagers love to talk, especially the girls. You can see (or hear) this every day at a public school; the hallways are full of chatter and noise, and people are often late for class because they want to talk to their friends.

But there is a time and a place for talking, and a time and a place for keeping quiet. There are words that are useful to say and words that are not.

We’ve wrapped up the beginning part of my series on speech, talking about prayer, and now we’re moving on to the next section: using our voices in everyday life. I will be looking at a few things to ask yourselves about the way you’re using words in your everyday life.

Today, ask yourself this: are the words you are saying necessary or helpful in some way?

Is it the wrong time or place to talk?

You know how teenage girls love to talk? Often, unfortunately, that love of talking gets pulled over into times when talking should not be happening, like class or church. If you’re about to say something, make sure it’s okay to be talking. And whispering counts as talking.

Are you complaining or constantly talking about yourself?

This is another thing about teenagers that sometimes gets on my nerves. They constantly whine and complain. If life is good, they’ll try to find something else completely random to complain about. It’s like teenagers have to be complaining about something to be happy.

Try to think positive instead! Be the friend in your group who brings up positive things or redirects the conversation to something else when people start talking negative.

Also, avoid constantly talking about yourself all of the time in general. Try to pay genuine attention to what others have to say and don’t be too eager to interrupt with a story from your own life.

Would whoever you’re talking to be able to do just as well without hearing what you’re about to say?

Think about what you’re going to say before you say it. Make sure that either it is something you need to say, like if someone asked you a question or something, or that it will be helpful or encouraging to someone if you say it.

This doesn’t mean you can’t joke around with your friends or have long rambling conversations about all sorts of things; of course you can! But just be careful that you aren’t lapsing into things that aren’t helpful to anyone, like complaining or gossiping. Still think before you speak, even when talking to your friends.

God gave us voices and a language to use for His glory, just like all of Hs other gifts. It has been distorted by the Fall, but we need to work hard to use our words and conversations to honor Him. It’s another way to shine His light to those around us.

love, grace

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