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War of Words: Getting to the Heart of Your Communication Struggles
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War of Words: Getting to the Heart of Your Communication Struggles

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,465 ratings  ·  137 reviews
An important and biblical book about our words and our God. Few of us really think about the power, the blessing, the gift, the effect, and the danger of our words. This book will make you think before you speak. Best of all, it will make you think of him before you speak.
Paperback, 245 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by P & R Publishing
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C.H. Cobb
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Have already read thru this book at least once. Was reading this time for a counseling case. Did not finish this time, but just getting it off my list.

Bottom line--this is an excellent book on communication, and very useful, particularly for marriage and family counseling.
Brett Mclaughlin
Jan 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Just five pages into War of Words, Paul Tripp makes this astonishing claim: “God has a wonderful plan for our words” (5). Modern evangelicalism is quick to talk about God’s plan–and God’s plans–so this statement doesn’t sound overtly different, provocative, or perhaps even book-worthy. In fact, seminaries, churches, and parachurches have made so-called Christian counseling all the rage, so another book on godly communication should fit right into the local Christian bookstore.

Tripp’s initial arg
Mar 25, 2021 added it
Shelves: favorites
This book is going straight to my "favorites" shelf. I feel like I should start reading it at the beginning again, even though I just finished! It was convicting and enlightening. ...more
Nov 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Good things to say, but felt repetitive. I found The Peacemaker by Ken Sande to be more helpful as far as conflict resolution goes. As far as "communication struggles" goes, this book had good stuff, but didn't really cover much of communication struggles other than having angry and self focused words... ...more
Apr 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Yes, Tripp is repetitive in this book, for each chapter considers "God's plan, our sin, His grace, and Scripture's map." There are no quick and easy steps given for godly communication, and the journey through these chapters can sometimes be painful and tedious. Getting to the heart of any sinful matter usually is. But, Tripp's book is worth the time and patience and repetition. It's a rich Gospel-centered look at the war of words that we're all fighting. It's a gold mine of Scriptural truths an ...more
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
War of Words: Getting to the Heart of Your Communication Struggles by Paul David Tripp is a beautifully written book that shows us the importance of words and how they are used. It is rooted deeply in the scriptures and would be a profitable read for any believer—given that we are all sinners who struggle with our words. Tripp writes about how God has a plan for our words but sin has altered the way we speak. However, God did not leave us to fight that hopeless war in our own strength. The autho ...more
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith, productivity
Giving this four stars because I think what it has to say is very eye-opening and true. The first few chapters are just trying to convince you that words are important, and I felt like that was unnecessary because duh, I'm sitting here reading a book about improving my communication, obviously I think words are important. But he goes on to describe what ought to be the motivation behind our speech -- we have to go beyond the knee-jerk "I want to win" reaction that's our default, and think about ...more
Hannah Mead
Book #4 on my reading streak with my mum. This contains some super helpful insights into words and why we speak the way we do and how to change how we speak to glorify God. Probably the biggest insight/challenge I took away from this book is that you speak from your heart. Whatever is in your heart is going to come out of your mouth. And that's why a heart-change is necessary before you can do any speech-change. 4* instead of 5 because I found it slightly repetitive at times and a bit hard to fo ...more
Sam Files
Dec 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Every word we speak must be up to God's standard and according to his design. They should echo the Great Speaker and reflect his glory. Talk was created by God for his purpose. Our words belong to Him" "Word problems reveal heart problems. The people and situations around us do not make us say what we say; they are only the occasion for our hearts to reveal themselves in words."
"I realized that how I handle situations- what I say- is very important. Either I am taking control and handling thin
Cliff Dailey
Sep 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The title really says it all. This book helps the reader process through understanding the reason for human struggle with words. Tripp skillfully uses the Bible as a map to understand the historical narrative and even gives multiple counseling/pastoral examples for ourselves. Lastly, the reflections questions at the end of every chapter really help the reader draw out the struggle and plan to engage the problem of the heart: sin.

Great read and a great resource for anyone wanting to start with s
Julianne Bell
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal book about words/communication. Every time you speak it should be to show the love of Jesus Christ to others and to honor God. One thing that struck me was that if someone in your life sins and you are apart of that sin, you should rejoice that the Lord has seen fit to use you in that person's life for sanctification. It is an opportunity to speak redemptive love and to hold up the mirror of Scripture gracefully and humbly. Again, phenomenal. ...more
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this book over the space of a year and a half for our Men's Bible Study. As always, Tripp does an excellent job with practical theology, ably applying scripture to (in this case) our tongues and the way we speak. Biblically-built. Heart-engaging. God-glorifying. ...more
Pretty good. Application questions we great. First third of the book was great. A bit repetitive at the end.
David Garza
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to David by: LIFE
For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks... Matthew 12:34

War of Words is not a happy go lucky how-to on communication. Rather it is a guide to the heart of what makes our communication either profitable or detrimental. Resolving conflict cannot be taught through techniques and tips, but instead can only be approached with the heart of restoring relationship in the reflection of what God has done and is doing in us. It is His redeeming work that makes it possible for our communicati
Lincoln Forlong
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As you would expect from Paul David Tripp, he does a thourough job of exploring every nook and cranny of the subject before him. While this is not a quick or even an easy read, it is comprehensive and very practical in the many applications made from the Bible.

Almost every sphere of life is tounched upon in his evaluation of how our words are expressive of our relationship with the Lord. This book gives valuable insights into why we do and say the things we do. Equally, it provides realistic sol
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, faith
Very good, but convicting.
Mark Evans
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
War of Words written by Paul Tripp is a book about communication, uniquely written for the purpose of helping readers to confront the sin that lies in the heart. This book on communication is not a book that offers new ideas or communication techniques; it offers practical and biblical exhortation. The pattern of truth discussed reminds readers that sinful communication takes place as a result of the heart; in spite of the best methods and communication techniques the heart will foil communicati ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
The central idea of the book is this: When we say hurtful things, our problem is not that we are "bad with words," instead our problem is that we have a sinful heart. Everything we say in anger/provocation/distress/etc. was already in our heart in the first place. So if we want to speak the way God intends us to speak, as God demonstrated through His own example in the Garden of Eden, or as the Old Testament laws or Jesus's teachings or encouragement in the Epistles lay out for us, we need to ch ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a real life saver. This book addresses genuine issues relating to struggles we have in everyday communication encounters, with practical examples from Paul Tripp's life experiences. Good book to read when you need a challenge for change, as this book also offer guidelines, prayers, steps to follow to repent from your mistakes. This book carried me through a time when I was grieving and needed comfort, and have led me to do some introspection in my own life. This book makes you reali ...more
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian-living
The heart of communication wars can be traced to a corrupted heart, says Mr. Tripp. In order to win the war of words, a person's heart must be transformed. Though impossible for us, it is possible through the power of Christ to speak redemptively into others' lives.

The above is the essence of War of Words. The book is a great idea and Mr. Tripp has some great thoughts, but there is a lot of bloat in the book. 60 pages are spent in the beginning to tell us that there is a war between good and evi
Scott Crook
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are many books that have read but few books that I plan to read over again many times in the future. The truth of our communication struggles and the consequences of our words are powerfully illustrated in this book. The magnifying glass that Paul David Tripp places on God’s word in this area will apprehend your mind in a way that gives both hope and promise of a path that is possible to attain in practice. There is no such thing as a once and done book which is why I look forward, and rec ...more
May 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: religion
Well, I got this from my wife on my birthday last year (or the year before) and just finally able to read this because in 2019 and 2020 I just wanted to focus on authors where I have read in the past. Technically I did read one of his books New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional, which was also a 2 star book.

The book itself is OK. There are some good things in it with Bible verses for you to reference to. I think at times he gets repetitive in some of his wording. One thing I wasn't a fa
Very convicting and has the potential to be a catalyst for big change. If you’ve read or heard Paul Tripp, you are familiar with the backbone and theology of this book. In War on Words, he applies the same gospel-centered heart focus to communication. After reading I want to go back and really ruminate on all the personal application questions at the end of each chapter... it’s not a topic to be skimmed over and then filed in the back of your brain.
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: personal
It's not what I expected (although I won't be able to explain what exactly it was I expected). Except for a few parts where it became too drawn out, it was good. The book is divided in three parts - in the first part it is shown how far we are from speaking in a godly way, in the second part it is explained what the godly way of speaking looks like, and lastly the author points out the way in which we should get to the point of speaking in that godly way. ...more
Aug 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Unlike most communication books, this author does not focus on how you can change communication techniques but rather, focuses on what motivates your speech. Drawing from the verse, "...out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks," the reader is challenged to consider how his speech reflects what is lurking within. Convicting and challenging in the sense that this book makes you evaluate yourself at a deeper level. ...more
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christianity
This is a book packed with biblical expositions about the use and purpose of our words. The books opens with a powerful introduction on the potential of words and how words have been abused and misused, entirely from a biblical perspective. War of Words is not a typical book on communication; it is THE book on communication.
Robbie Burns
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A really super book that I loved. I’ve learned much from Paul Tripp and will come back to this time and again for wisdom. An excellent biblical analysis of how we must use our tongues as Christians, what it says about our hearts and where we can go for guidance. An important work for all Christians to savour and come back to time and again.
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was going to be a book about negative talk, etc. so I went into it with low expectations. This book blew me away, it was SO good and very convicting! It was deeply rooted in Scripture which I loved and it gave a great outline for how a Christ follower should really speak! Highly recommend!
Arianto Lawardi
Mar 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another must read

Another MUST read by paul davis trip for every Christian at any stage of walk, whether experienced, or recently converted. I completely disagree that this is a book for someone with an anger issue. This book explain deep gospel rooted way of thinking in how we talk, when we talk, why we talk.
Apr 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
A book on communicating in a “godly” way from a fundamentalist pastor. I actually liked it and found sections of it to be quite powerful (especially chapter 6) and applicable to anyone of any faith (or non-faith). The writing was very clear. Very practical advice coming from a good, well-intentioned place. The author used interesting and unique scripture passages to back up his ideas.
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Paul was born in Toledo, Ohio to Bob and Fae Tripp on November 12, 1950. Paul spent all of his growing years in Toledo until his college years when his parents moved to Southern California.
At Columbia Bible College from 1968-1972, (now Columbia International University) Paul majored in Bible and Christian Education. Although he had planned to be there for only two years and then to study journalis

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