For most of my life, I have to admit to you that bible study was nowhere near my thing. I was blessed however, to grow up around relatives who lived the life rather than preach about it or pontificate a reality their lives never represented. Today, I am constantly moved by the Holy Spirit to see the simplicity of truth in the scripture I now study. I find myself gravitating to ministers, pastors, bishops and saints as they dissect in sermon and prayer, the incredible power of the tongue; yes that small but dangerously lethal missile contained in your mouth and mine. I have had recent experience with the positive and negative power of what I say; some intentional but most unintentional. I’m just talking. Some say, “I’m just sayin.” Even without biblical perspective, history confirms the ability of deceit filled oratory to entice weak men to murder, married women to stray, prideful men to war and peace loving men to slaughter.
On a daily basis, a reckless, misguided tongue can singe forever the innocent spirit of a child, a wanting spouse, a caring friend or a concerned co-worker. How powerful is it when all you need is a sincere ‘I’m sorry,’ or an unexpected ‘thank you’ or a genuine, ‘I believe in you,’ and you actually get it from someone you need to hear it from? James 3:10 lets us know that the tongue, your tongue, wields both the power of life and death. Having been the target of ill intended criticism and some unintended slights and having killed a few souls of some people I hold dear, I know firsthand that James was and is so right. I am trying to correct this character flaw by being consciously uplifting as often as I can be. It helps to think of myself as a vessel of the Living God, before I speak. It is not always easy to remember that we are made in God’s own image and cursing man, any man is tantamount to cursing God. Could it be that James 1:26 is a key to understanding the true nature of which I speak? “…If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless…”
I submit to you that if you compare the words of Christ to those of any demagogue, you will find the Lord’s words will easily repulse those words that are rooted in hatred, gossip, rumor and innuendo. It is impossible to love God without loving Jesus as the Living Word of God. Saying so, merely confirms this truth. In this case, the spoken word can and will set you free. “Reckless words pierce like a sword but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:14. Unfortunately, there is no cure for hurt feelings. All we can do is think before we speak and offer honest and sincere apologies when we damage another person with what we say. But this weapon we have in our mouths needs to be understood for the power it holds and the power it conveys. But please do not take my word for it. “He who guards his lips guards his life; but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” Proverbs 12:3.
May God bless and keep you always, James