I spent my teen years wishing my words carried more weight. Trying to converse with adults, it seemed like nothing I said was good enough, because of my age. Talking to my friends at school, they listened, but it didn’t make any meaningful impact. “What does a guy need to say around here to be listened too,” I would ask myself. I studied the leaders and teachers in my life to see how they said things, and what words they used. I went to college, started a family, and began my career. I know now looking back that there is a difference between words that matter, and words that carry weight.
1. All your words matter.
Proverbs 10:19 “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin:but he that refraineth his lips is wise.”
Matthew 12:36 “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”
Buckle up teens, because I’m going to say what you’ve always wanted to hear. Everything you say is important. Whew! How did that feel? The good thing is that the Lord hears your words, and is happy with every good thing you say. The bad part is the Lord also hears everything bad you say, or the stuff that doesn’t mean anything. “Idle word.”
2. Your words only have weight with the people who listen.
Proverbs 1:2 “To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;”
Proverbs 23:9 “Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.”
What everybody wants is someone who cares. As a teen, I wanted someone who cared about what I said. Your words will carry weight with the people who want to listen to you. We all have that friend, that family member, and hopefully that youth worker that listens to our stories, learns our favorite things, and hears what we have to say. Don’t be so caught up with who cares what you say, but instead become someone who cares what other people say.
3. You only get to decide who hears your words, and not how they take them.
Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
Proverbs 23:9 “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”
What I learned looking back at teenage me was simple: I wanted what I said to carry more weight with people, but as an adult now I’m afraid to carry the weight of every word I say. Sometimes I say something that I don’t think matters speaking off the cuff, or maybe a joke. As an adult now, people will sometimes take a joke very seriously, and I’ll need to apologize for what I said! I guess I got what I wanted, and you will too in time.
Take your teen years to learn how to speak prudently. The Bible says “the words of the pure are pleasant.” Proverbs 15:26. It is good you have this time to learn from your mistakes! There is a man who will listen to every word you say: Jesus Christ. Build your relationship with God now, because he is always listening.
Assistant Pastor | Lighthouse Baptist Church, Flint, Mi