Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. Prov. 15:4; The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Prov. 12:18; Let your conversation be always full of grace. Col. 4:6; What you say flows from what is in your heart. Luke 6:45

Lord Jesus, this collage of Scriptures reminds us that nothing carries more power for giving life, and killing beauty, than our words. 2020 seemed disproportionally filled with words of might, spite, and fight—from every direction on the compass. Here’s to reversing the percentages in 2021.

Since our lips reveal the preoccupation of our hearts, help us fix (and keep) our minds and hearts on you, Jesus. You alone are worthy of our contemplation and adoration. Your beauty is incomparable and transforming. You love us more than anyone ever could or would. You convict us, but never condemn us, with your words.

We’re not naïve, the issues in front of us remain dividing, daunting, and disheartening. But surely, the Gospel can enable us to engage in conflict redemptively, and disagree with each other respectfully. To the extent it depends on us, you have called us to live at peace with everyone (Rom. 12:18). Jesus, give us bigger Gospel-hearts and thick mercy-skin.

As your Spirit gives us strength, may we speak 100 words of healing for every harmful syllable. And when our lips contradict the Gospel, grant us quick repentances and more grace. So very Amen we pray, in your matchless and merciful name.