“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24
“There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health. “ Proverbs 12:18b
“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.” Proverbs 12:25
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21
Wow…Solomon, the wisest man to ever live outside of Jesus said that the tongue – our words, opening up our big mouths can cause great harm. Death or life.
Do you realize that what we say affects more people than any other action we may take? Words have so much power in them. They can crush a person’s feelings. They can make someone sad, angry, discouraged and even depressed to the point of being suicidal. Friendships have been fractured, reputations have been blackened, minds have been poisoned and churches have been damaged all because of the tongue.
Once these words leave our mouth, they can never be retracted. All of us have said things that we later regretted. We all have been caught in the heat of the moment and have spoken words out of anger. But what about those people who know exactly what they are saying and don’t care? You know ‘those’ people that I am referring to? Their mission in life is to cut down, slander and talk badly about people. They have the gift of criticism.
Did you catch Proverbs 12:18 earlier? “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword…” Solomon said when you talk about someone, it is as if you are stabbing them with a sword. There is nothing innocent about cutting someone with a sword.
Do you know that people who talk to you about other people will talk about YOU to other people? People who talk badly about others are just telling on themselves. Those kind of people have deep seeded anger, they are insecure and they have to belittle others to feel better about themselves. They are cowards! They are afraid to talk to someone to their face so they find a “garbage dump” (another person who will willingly listen to the gossip) to unload on. By the way, being a garbage dump is still participating even if you do not say anything!
I would encourage these people to read James, chapter 3, verses 11 and 12. James says that both the fountain and the fig trees produce their own kind. Evil speech comes from an evil heart. Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and little minds discuss people. Watch your mouth!
James, chapter 3, verse 6 says the tongue’s lack of control comes from hell! Wow, Satan is the initiator of the sins of the tongue. When you are full of the devil, your mouth is used to hurt and tear down others, but when you are full of Jesus, you speak and produce love, joy, peace, kindness, etc…
We also read in this passage that “the tongue is a fire.” I am sure you have heard of massive fires that have caused great destruction. These fires began as a small spark! Arizona’s Wallow fire, which is currently ravaging the state is the largest in Arizona’s history. It has grown to 760 square miles, or 487,016 acres. Authorities say that this monster fire began as a small campfire.
So are the words that we use. What may not seem like a big deal can grow into something destructive and harmful. God help us to watch our mouths!