THE WORDS WE SPEAK
The tongue is one of the most powerful parts of the body. Just think of that childhood saying, “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” and how untrue and deceptive that saying is. Words that issue out of our mouths may not be able to break bones, but they do have the power to bring life and death. The Bible speaks very clearly on this topic and gives us many verses that either warns or encourages us to watch what we say.
In this short post, let's look at some of those passages. Think of them, be encouraged by them and evaluate how you use your tongue. Is it speaking life or death?
Psalms 34:12–13 What man is he who desires life and longs for many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.
Proverbs 13:3 He who guards his mouth keeps his life, but he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
Proverbs 21:23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from troubles.
Proverbs 15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it crushes the spirit.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]. AMP
Matthew 12:33–37 Either make the tree sound (healthy and good), and its fruit sound (healthy and good), or make the tree rotten (diseased and bad), and its fruit rotten (diseased and bad); for the tree is known and recognized and judged by its fruit. You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)? For out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things. But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak. For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced. AMP
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech at all times be gracious (pleasant and winsome), seasoned [as it were] with salt, [so that you may never be at a loss] to know how you ought to answer anyone [who puts a question to you]. AMP
James 1:26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person's religious service is worthless (futile, barren). AMP
James 3:2–10 For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature. If we set bits in the horses' mouths to make them obey us, we can turn their whole bodies about. Likewise, look at the ships: though they are so great and are driven by rough winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the impulse of the helmsman determines. Even so the tongue is a little member, and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze! And the tongue is a fire. [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth (the cycle of man's nature), being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna). For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea animal, can be tamed and has been tamed by human genius (nature). But the human tongue can be tamed by no man. It is a restless (undisciplined, irreconcilable) evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who were made in God's likeness! Out of the same mouth come forth blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren, ought not to be so. AMP
Just a couple questions and thoughts...
What words are you using? Are they words that bring life or death?
We are often more careful about the words we speak to others, but how about the words we speak to ourselves. After making a mistake have you said, “Am I ever stupid,” or something similar. Is that guarding the mouth?
I encourage you to think about this subject and evaluate the words you use every day and ask the Holy Spirit to speak life. Let us be sure our words are gracious and seasoned with salt, wholesome and that which brings life.