Today’s Truth

But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken (Matthew 12:36 NIV).


Friend to Friend

During the holiday season, when interaction with family and friends is increased, I find myself with extra opportunities to bite my tongue. Anyone else? Jesus said that the words we speak reflect the true condition of our hearts.

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:33-37 NIV).

Since every word we speak matters, it’s important our words are life-giving. Here’s a three-question tool that helps even the spiciest individual speak words that honor God, benefit others, and builds them up. Before you speak, make sure your words make the KUT—the KUT test that is:

  • Are they kind?
  • Are they useful?
  • Are they true?

KIND: Who doesn’t like a kind word? We all do. So, before we speak, we ask ourselves: is what I’m about to say kind? If our words will un-righteously ruffle someone’s feathers, then it’s better not to speak them. (There are times when words need to ruffle feathers. True enough. But they should still be kind, constructive, and God-honoring.) If what I am about to say is unkind, then it fails the KUT test, and I zip my lip. No talky.

USEFUL: Oh, how we can complain and vie for control. Our expectations of others can stir us up: we think we know how they should act, communicate, behave, and respond. The truth of the matter is, we cannot choose behavior for others, but we can choose for ourselves.

When my buttons are pushed, I have several choices. I can choose to be sassy and destructive. I can choose not to respond and engage in the argument. Or I can choose to respond in kindness that has the potential to calm a flustered heart. See? Lots of options. But my best choice is to pray first, then choose my response.

TRUE: Let me jump on this one right away with a qualifier: just because something is true does not mean it’s wise to say it. Here’s why. What we have to say might be true, but if it is neither kind nor useful, then—in most cases— it doesn’t need to be said. So, truth is not reason enough to say something.

The Bible says our words are to “benefit” those to whom we speak (Ephesians 4:29). Truth must be spoken in light of both wisdom and grace.

Jesus prayed that God would sanctify us in his truth, which is the Word of God (John 17:17). And that, friend, is the best thing for us when it comes to our words. Our words need to be sifted through God’s truth. If what we are about to say does not line up with Scripture, then we simply should not say it.

Kind. Useful. True.

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of guidelines, but it’s a simple tool that can help train us to have a biblical mindset as we learn to be positive and productive in our conversations. The KUT test helps to sift out words of anger, hurt, negativity, rudeness, arrogance, prejudice, ignorance, and foolishness. And so much more!

It’s like a Brita for our mouths!

I’d call that productive, wouldn’t you?


Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, I really need Your help with this one. I want all of my conversations to be positive and constructive . . . led by Your kindness . . . useful and true. Please help me to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Now It’s Your Turn 
Which of the 3-steps in the KUT test do you think will be most helpful for you to implement? Why?

Let’s pray together today. Meet us in the comments section to share your heart and pray for one another.


More From the Girlfriends

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© 2022 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.


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9 Responses to “Do Your Words Pass The Test?”

  1. Avatar photo Anne says:

    Are they kind: Most times I say words that are useful and true but slot of times I may not say it as nice as I can. Today and going forward I will try to use my word heal.

  2. Avatar photo Carol says:

    I pray for help with this all the time. I always have been a “thinking out loud” person, from the time I was little and it isn’t always a good thing.
    I’m praying about being a good representative of the fruits of the Spirit, and my two trouble areas are patience and self-control.
    Gwen, your prayer is a perfect prayer for me. Thank you, for this blessing.

  3. Avatar photo Angela says:

    This devotion was written for me! The struggle to hold my tongue is real and constant.
    My worst is “useful”. I’m a chatterer and I don’t deal well with silence. Sometimes I talk just so there is some noise, even if I’m talking to myself😜. Needless to say, that’s a lot of useless talk.
    May the spirit lead me to listen more than I speak, and find comfort in the silence of communion with the Lord.

  4. Avatar photo Dottie says:

    I have the most trouble with I guess the USEFUL part. I say things to people and I believe them to be true but I’m sure it’s things that don’t need to be said. So I’m going to work on my gossip in which I need lots of prayers. By gossip, it’s true things I’m saying but I should not be talking about people to other people in negative ways. I also have to work on my anger. It gets worse as I get older unfortunately. Although I’m learning when someone says something to me that upsets me (usually through texts), I choose not to respond so I don’t say anything ugly. I hope that’s the right thing to do. Please pray for me in this. I need lots of help. Thank you Gwen for this blessing. I’m going to print it out and post it so I can read it often for a reminder. 🙂

  5. Avatar photo Rebecca says:

    This is a timely reminder as I head in to the Christmas season with extended family. I can almost guarantee that there will be times with my mother-in-law that I will need to bite my tongue altogether, and other times where I’ll need to speak in calm and kindness rather than sarcasm (which is often my default when I’m hurt or angry). Thank you Gwen for this devotional that helps me as I prepare and guard my heart and head (and mouth) ahead of time.

  6. Avatar photo Debby says:

    Reflecting on KUT. I really enjoyed the reading today! I will write this down to remind me daily about kind, useful, truthful. Sometimes in conversation I need to be reminded about “is it my story to tell?” Therefore useful is what I need to work on. In conversation with friends I am working on keeping the conversation kind and when gossip enters it’s easy to fall into the trap, working on this as well.

  7. Avatar photo Debbie says:

    I continually fail in the “useful” test in speaking to others. What I believe to be useful may or may not be God’s instruction for me or the person I am speaking with!

    This morning’s message encourages me to seek God’s will through his holy spirit…prayerfully taking a minute or two before I speak. I believe allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through me will provide the right words at the right time to bless others.

    This message is so timely for my life right now, I am blessed.
    Thank you with a grateful heart ♥
    In his precious love…Debbie

  8. Avatar photo Sharyn says:

    I need work in the kind and useful categories. I find myself falling into angry speech concerning my ex-husband with others. The words are true but are not useful. Thank you for this timely to me devotion and prayer

  9. Avatar photo Stacey says:

    Your message today is the one that always worries me, that we will be held accountable for our words. I say things that don’t need to be said many, many times. I have hurt people by saying things when I think that they aren’t around but there they are, hearing everything I have to say. What I wonder is if the words that I have spoken are erased if I ask the Lord for forgiveness? I really need to be more kind and speak less. Having moved into a new job, I have been practicing this a little more with my new co-workers…now to keep it up with my family and others.

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