How many of you have ever had your feelings hurt by something unkind that someone said to you? I would guess all of us! Remember the little saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”…that is just not true. Words do hurt and can cause tremendous damage to a person.
Let me ask you a question…how do you use your words? Are you a complainer? Fault Finder? Back Biter? Slanderer? Gossip? Liar?
The Bible has many things to say about our words…
Psalm 19:14 says, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
Psalm 141:3 says, “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.”
Proverbs 16:24 says, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones”
Matthew 12: 36-37 says, “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Over 300 verses in the Bible deal with our words. One of my favorite books, James has some great insight to our words and the power of our tongue.
In Chapter 3, James begins talking about the most deadly weapon in the world…our tongue!
Verse 5 says, “Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body. 7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”
If the tongue is the deadliest weapon in the world, it needs the most discipline! You must think before you speak. We must learn to control our tongue!
The tongue when out of control can cause serious damage. I asked at the beginning of this blog how many of you have been hurt by someone’s words? Hurtful words can leave deep emotional scars.
You need to be careful when repeating things that you hear without knowing all of the facts. Malicious gossip, untrue rumors and lies have caused much hurt and ruined countless lives through the years. All caused by a small “spark” of the tongue.
In 2007, a 10-year-old boy admitted that he accidentally started one of the largest wildfires in Southern California history while playing with matches.
The blaze, the Buckweed fire, started in a rural community in the northern part of Los Angeles County. Fanned by high winds and hot, dry weather, it spread quickly, driving 15,000 people from their homes, destroying 21 houses and 22 other buildings, injuring three people and blackening more than 38,000 acres. All this damage from 1 small match! Fire, when out of control can cause terrible damage. In the same sense, the tongue out of control can cause serious damage.
The tongue has been known to misinform, criticize, lie, falsely accuse, slander, back bite, bicker, break friendships, break marriages, ruin reputations, cause people to lose jobs, create division in companies, churches, families and friends, driven people to take a life (their own or others). The tongue is proven to be unruly, unstable, restless and full of deadly poison.
On the other hand, the tongue has the power to do good. It can be used to teach the truth, encourage people, give compliments, preach/teach the Bible, share salvation with unbelievers, speak “life” into someone who has lost hope and desire to live, etc…
It is imperative that we pray and allow God to direct us in what we say and how we use our tongues. That is the only hope in offering any type of control over this powerful weapon.