We call them “slips of the tongue”, or “putting the mouth in gear before the brain in engaged”. It is so easy to speak without thinking of the impact our words have on another. James says that the tongue is the most unruly member of the body. Paul gives a good positive directive for guiding what we say. “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29) Do our words give grace? This doesn’t mean that everything we say has to be soft, sweet, and always religious. It does mean that what we say should not hurt another intentionally. Even when words of correction must be hard they are always intended to help, to build up, to restore. What we say is to be useful, truthful, and seeking to build up without false flattery. One is willing to ask forgiveness when having hurt another. Words are a powerful tool for good or for ill. Let our words seek to give grace to those who hear.