Words are powerful. That’s a fact I’ve come to know in my years of writing, counseling, talking, reading, and dealing with other people. The written word can be carefully thought about before we put it out for the world to see. But how about the spoken word? How many times have we said some things that we wish we could’ve taken back?
A Little Background
I consider myself an emotional person – and I think there are pros and cons to that. The pros being, I can relate to other people and make a better connection with them without much difficulty. I’m a speaker in conferences and seminars and I teach online in my SEO School. I’m also a wordsmith – I love writing and voicing out my ideas.
The cons? Well, let’s just say, it’s so easy to let my emotions out – whether good or bad. Thank God that I’ve learned about taming the tongue early in life! And I want to impart to you the reasons why I’m living a life in constant surrender of my tongue to the Lord.
Life and Death
“You’re hopeless” ,”You’re good for nothing”, “You’re better off dead”. How many times have we heard these words? Discouraging, heart-breaking, life-scarring words. How many times have we said them?
It’s such a small thing – this tongue we have installed in our mouths. But the Bible says it has the power of life and death. How can that be? Can you kill someone with your tongue?
“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. “ – Proverbs 15:4
We may not be able to kill someone physically but we will be able to break someone’s spirit. God has given us the power of the spoken word. It’s so easy to let a word or two out of our mouths to satisfy what we feel. It’s so easy to make a comment or two about someone’s attitude. It’s so easy to tell a friend about someone’s fashion statement gone wrong.
“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. “ – Proverbs 12:18
A Spiritual Sting
Words can hurt. Perhaps more than a physical wound can. It can be excruciatingly painful to the spirit of the receiver. I’ve been a victim. I’m sure you were too. There are a lot of people who have no awareness of their tongue’s power over someone else’s life.
“All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. “ – James 3:7-8
Unwilling and Rogue
The tongue cannot be tamed. It has to be surrendered.
“…Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. “ – James 3:5-6
Surrendered to God’s grace, mercy, healing, wisdom, courage, love. So that we will be able to say words that are glorifying to God.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. “ – Ephesians 4:29
Or at the very least, to keep silent if we have no good thing to say.
“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. “ – Proverbs 21:23
“Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. “ – Proverbs 17:28
Let’s not inflict on other people the harsh, life-marring words we’ve heard in our lives. Instead, let’s commit to speaking out only what is good and encouraging and loving to other people.