Friday, October 17, 2008

The Power of the Tongue

The Power of the Tongue

Have you experienced the “power of the tongue”?

Do you know how it feels to have someone make a “cutting” comment that goes deep into your soul and creates a wound that seems like it will never heal?
Do you know how it feels to have someone make a comment that thrills your soul and fills you will gladness and joy?
Have you ever been the “sender” of a “cutting“ comment
or a joy filled comment?
I’m sure you have experienced all of these!
As we all have!

The dictionary gives 2 definitions of “tongue” –
· The movable organ in the mouth which functions
in eating, tasting, and speaking
· The power of speech

Just recently I’ve been in conversations with people who have expressed a disgust at the vileness of language being used today….
Vulgar language, cursing, crudeness, etc. seems to be rampant today-

But, not only that – words are being used (whether spoken or written)
to “bully” others… we are seeing this in the schools!
And now, we hear about “cyber bullying” – using the internet to put someone down, to say nasty things about someone.

Scripture says:
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. My brothers, this should not be.
James 3:5-10

I love “word pictures”!
And as I read this Scripture I always see the tiny little spark that drops in the forest and then my mind flashes to the raging fire that ensues!
All from one little spark!

How like our words!
They can start a fire –
A fire of rebellion, of destruction, of self-defeat
A fire of positive, forward-moving energy;
of restoration, of reconciliation.

Do you recall this little saying from your childhood?
“Stick and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”

I wonder, did we really think that was true?
It is so NOT true!
It has been said that it takes 10 positives to counteract one negative comment!
Have you found that to be true in your life?
I surely have!
I may be doing great, feeling great, feeling positive,
and a negative comment comes my way
and it’s like the balloon has had a pin stuck in it and the air seeps out!
Where did all the good feelings go?
The mind dwells on the negative and seems to forget all the other!

So – if this is how I am affected – I need to think about others who have
been the receivers of my words!
Do my words “build up” or do they “tear down”?
Are they positive fire starters or negative fire starters?
Are my words healing or are they poison?

I have learned over the years that my “tongue” can get me in trouble real fast!
I am by nature an impulsive person – quick to speak - and have had to learn (with the Lord’s help) to keep my tongue under control!
I frequently pray for God to still my tongue;
to keep me from saying anything that could be hurtful;
to pinch my lips together so I don’t regret something I might say!
Just recently I was in conversation with some dear friends and I slapped my face (gently- LOL!) because I was on the verge of saying something
best kept to myself!

Words don’t just spill off our tongues!
The words that come out of our mouths are a reflection of our thoughts –
of what is in our hearts!
If one has hostility, bitterness, unforgiveness in the heart
their words will reflect this.
If one has compassion, kindness, love in their heart their speech
will reflect this as well.
The key to taming our tongue is self-control –
and self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit!

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

We must depend upon Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit to
help us to control our tongues… that is the only way it will happen.
We must confront our thoughts!
The Holy Spirit living in us will change our hearts, change our thoughts –
and change our words!

May we be like the psalmist who wrote –

“I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue”
Psalm 66:17

“My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long.”
Psalm 71:24

“May my tongue sing of your word,”
Psalm 119:172

May our tongues bring healing:

Proverbs 12:18
Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 15:4
The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life,
but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

Dear Father God,
I lift a prayer for each one reading this today – a prayer for renewal of the mind; for a fresh indwelling of the Holy Spirit;
for consciousness of speech as they go about their daily lives!
Thank You, Father for Your WORDS that build us up and tell us how much
we are loved by You!
I pray, with the psalmist, that the words of our mouths
and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight.
Thank You for blessing us today!

Resting in HIM,

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