Many of us fight about words a lot. We fight about translations of the Bible, "inclusive language," the wording of prayers, propaganda from so-called pro-choice supporters, and other attempts at verbal manipulation in the media. Some of this fighting about words is godly because we are fighting about the truth and not just about words. But some of this fighting is "worldly, idle talk" (2 Tm 2:16). We must avoid this at all cost, for "those who indulge in it become more and more godless, and the influence of their talk will spread like the plague" (2 Tm 2:16-17).
Words are much more powerful than many people realize. So-called "idle conversation" is not merely idle; it is dangerous and potentially destructive. Jesus stated: "I assure you, on judgment day people will be held accountable for every unguarded word they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned" (Mt 12:36-37). Because words can be so powerful, "if a person is without fault in speech he is a man in the fullest sense, because he can control his entire body" (Jas 3:2).
"Where words are many, sin is not wanting; but he who restrains his lips does well" (Prv 10:19). So let us "hope in silence" (Lam 3:26), be slow to speak (Jas 1:19), and, when called by God, speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15).