By Scott Hilgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross
“They’re just words.”
There’s recently been a lot of discussion and debate about the tv series Yellowstone, started by an article from RFD TV, about the language in the show.
People seemed evenly split on whether they watch the show or not based on the language and content of the show. But observations were made that when someone complained about the language in online discussions, it led to attacks against them by the people defending the language.
Reading through some of it, the most common comment I kept hearing about the language was that they were just words.
Thing is, many of the people on either side identify themselves as Christians and we do in fact need to be really careful that we understand the significance of words.
Why? Because of numerous verses across the Old and New Testaments of the Bible that tell us how important words are.
One verse to start with is this:
It makes it clear that language that isn’t wholesome shouldn’t be spoken. Instead, it directs us to speak words that would work toward making life better for another person. The words we speak should only do good.
Look at just a few ways Proverbs shows us the importance of good words.
Proverbs 16:24 “Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
Proverbs 15:4 “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
Proverbs 18:4 “A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.”
Proverbs 20:15 “Wise speech is rarer and more valuable than gold and rubies.”
But it gets even more serious in the Book of James which has much to say about words and the importance of controlling our speech because of what it is capable.
In this verse specifically, James warns us that we can be completely corrupted by our tongue, the words we speak. He describes our tongue as a fire and that we can basically release hell on earth through what we say to people.
Throughout the whole chapter, James warns us that we can speak terrible things and do great harm or we can use words to bring life to others. The most important words we can speak are the words that describe the gospel and how to find a saving faith in Jesus Christ.
This is why it’s important not to downplay the words we speak and the words we listen to. They can influence for good, the gospel and Jesus, or they can influence for evil.
The words we speak aren’t, ‘just words.’