We’ve all done it, spoken words that cut a soul to ribbons, arrest a spirit, and leave deep scares–criticize. It takes but a moment to deliver words that wound… and oh, how smoothly they flow from our lips as easily as one pulls the bow across the strings of a violin and make no mistake they sing death–death to the essence of who one is, death to relationships. And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. (James 3:6).
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. (James 3:9-10).
Once we give reign to our tongue our words can never be hauled back–the damage cannot be undone.
And who are we to think we hold the keys to all the answers or have the right to judge (or even have the authority to do so)? “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. (Matthew 7:1).
Wounding words can be spoken in a breathe but how long does it take to repair the damage they inflect–remove the anguish and distress from someone’s heart? Abrasions healed can far to often leave jagged-scares that may never truly fade away.
How do we stop the biting words?
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5).
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.(James 1:19-20).
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16).
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9).
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6).
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. (1 Chronicles 16:11).
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. (Psalm 145:18).