The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Prov 18:21
How are you with your words, do you choose them carefully or is it open mouth and insert foot?
Our words can be taken at face value, or twisted. They can bring comfort or cause anger. We can compliment or insult with our words. Build someone up or destroy their self esteem. Words are powerful and that is why our conversation is to be seasoned with salt. Too little salt and food will taste bland, too much and it’s not worth eating. James tells us to be quick to listen and slow to speak. We sing the song “Angry Words” oh let them never from the tongue unbridled slip.
Scripture tells us some words were distressing to the hearers. It also tells us to hear, listen, uphold, follow, keep, write, recite, take to heart, and obey carefully. Some trembled at the words they heard, others used words to rebuke or encourage, some were called useless, and others were spoken gently. Job asked his friends how long they would torment and crush him with their words.
Arrogant, rash, flattering, boastful, lying, words of hatred, words sweet to the taste, words that give light, truth, seductive, persuasive, reckless, pleasant, discerning, true and reliable, so a sound answer may be given. All of these are found in scripture.
I was amazed when I began searching my bible for references on “tongue” and “words”. They are both used hundreds of times, which tells me we need to be careful how we use both.
James has much to say on the subject. James 1:26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
James 3:5-10 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. 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. 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. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.
I needed this reminder. I am quick witted (perhaps dim-witted). I do not want to use my words carelessly and cause hurt feelings and I sure don’t want to use them in anger or lies.
If a man’s life be lightning, his words are thunder.