Five Practical Steps for Wise Speech

How many times have you asked yourself: “Why did I say that?” Or, maybe you asked: “How could I say that?”

Nothing seems to be as easy as saying something dumb.

None of us wants to misspeak or say things we shouldn’t. What can we do to minimize our unwise words?

Here are five practical steps to take for wise speech.

First, spend time each day with God in prayer. I believe the best use of my time is to spend the first hour of the day with God. I want to accomplish three things. I want to spend time with God, pray about my day, and meditate on God’s Word. Part of my prayer time is to think about my day and all of the possible situations I will encounter and ask God to guide me through the day.

Spending time with God gives me confidence for the day. It is indispensable for wise speech.

Second, determine to speak the truth in every situation. Speaking the truth will solve a lot of your problems with wise speech. Speaking the truth solves most issues with needed apologies and correcting wrong impressions.

If you determine in advance to the speak the truth, you will be a long way down the road toward wise speech.

If you would like to read another article about speech, you can find one here: http://waylonbailey.com/2015/02/11/brian-williams-and-speaking-the-truth/

Third, practice what you are going to say. I almost always try to think through how and what I will speak. Almost all of my conversations are serious in nature. I may be counseling someone or helping them with their marriage. These are difficult conversations. I want to think and pray before those conversations. Practicing in advance will help you with what you say and how you say it.

Fourth, limit how much you talk. Let’s face it: we often get ourselves in trouble by talking too much. We need wise, judicial, and thoughtful speech. We need speech that pleases God. We need to be quick to hear and slow to speak.

You simply don’t have to say everything you think. If you question the wisdom of saying something, you probably already know you shouldn’t.

Fifth, remember the power of speech. The words we speak are powerful. They have the potential for great good and great harm. We need to consider the power of our words.

James wrote to the early church. The power of words was one of his main topics. He compared frivolous and unholy speech to a wildfire and a powerful horse. None of the things he talked about compared to the power of the tongue.

Ask God to guide you as you think about others and what you will say.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:1).

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6 Comments


  1. Jim Matthews
    Aug 19, 2015

    Waylon, I read your words each morning and yesterday while driving I thought of something I am going to ask you to consider asking all the congregation. If we all ended each conversation with “May God be with you” it would do two things. It would make the person saying it think of God each time he spoke and it would make the person hearing it think of God at least for a moment. If we all said it the moments would add up to minutes and make us all think of God more on a daily basis than we do now. Thanks Jim


    • Waylon
      Aug 25, 2015

      I love it when people–especially strangers–wish me a blessed day.


  2. Bonnie ferguson
    Aug 19, 2015

    Dr Bailey, once again you are giving me information I can use every day of my life . I appreciate the opportunity to receive this help at this time in my life, to grow in faith and commicuation and confidence. Sincerely, Bonnie


  3. John Meyer
    Aug 20, 2015

    thanks for these great words of wisdom and practical advice! i continue to enjoy your posts and pray for you and your church!


    • Waylon
      Aug 25, 2015

      Thanks John. It’s really great to reconnect with you.


  4. Joey Roberts
    Aug 30, 2015

    Waylon, there was no better passage than this one to start off my week. Thank you. If you only knew the whole story you’d know how appropriate it was for me to see this. Have a blessed day sir.

    Joey

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Verse of the Day

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. — Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)