Words are easily spoken, they fall from our lips with little thought to future consequences, but once articulated they can’t be retrieved. They have the potential to impact social injustice, forthcoming laws, budgets, the start of a war or end to one and ultimately life and death. The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. Proverbs 18:21.
One word–charge–and thousands may die; a word from the governor and one my be pardoned–a life saved. Words are influential, compelling, and persuasive; they have enormous power, are far reaching and may have long, lasting effects.
The tongue can be as venomous as a serpent–manipulating, lying, defaming, twisting half-truths for personal gain–ruining one’s good name for years to come. Often the tongue carelessly tosses about words without thought to their effects–crushing spirits, crippling souls and impacting someone’s reality for decades. Impressionable hearts and minds my be shaped or misshaped by a reckless tongue.
Who better than the tongue to spew sarcasm, hurl cruel taunts, and fling mocking remarks. Oh, how the tongue slices spirits and rips jagged holes–stealing hopes and wounding the heart. And…oh, yes, harsh words and name calling hurts. The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” Not true, they can impose devastating effects.
But…wait…the tongue imparts grace and gives hope. Gentle words laced with love may be the balm that soothes a broken heart–a symphony to the soul. A mother’s sweet words ease a child’s hurt, right’s wrongs, and nurtures a tiny soul. Word’s cultivate a feeling of being cherished–loved.
Words have the ability to paint beautiful images in our mind, transport us to a different time or place. Words can be wrote as a melody and sang as a song. Words help us learn–to be educated.
How is it possible that words can both annihilate and speak love? We can find the answer in James. Every sea creature, reptile, bird, or animal is tamed and has been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. We praise our Lord and Father with it, and we curse men who are made in God’s likeness with it. Praising and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers, these things should not be this way. James 3:7-10.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as it fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29. Paul counsels us to us our mouths for building each other up and extending grace. Saturating ourselves in God’s word prepares us to do both.
We find God in His word. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1.
We must recognize the power of words. They are more than random thoughts half-heartedly spoken–they are life and death. Le’ts use our words to edify one another and extend grace.