Sunday, July 6, 2008

The power of the tongue

Prov. 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruits thereof.

How many of us has ever said something in the heat of the moment, only to instantly wish we could have it back? I know I have. How many of us have ever been hurt by words, worse than any sticks or stones ever could? The tongue has an incredible power that no other part of the body possesses. In fact the bible says if we can control our tongue we can control our entire body, because no other member is as hard to get a bridle on. The bible speaks of the tongue in some pretty potent terms, it compares it to a sword, a fire, and this passage even says it has power to kill. However the tongue was created as a blessing, the words of encouragement we can speak to each other, the songs of praise we sing to our redeemer, and the power to persuade, are all much more powerful spoken than written. But, because of our depravity we have taken that blessing and turned it into a curse, we've taken the very thing made to give life and corrupted it into an instrument of death. We as Christians have been given a new heart, and it is our job to take all of those things that sin has corrupted and start using them for their original purpose, to glorify God. It is Satan's goal to corrupt all the good things in life and use them for his purposes, and he has done a pretty good job with the tongues of mankind. The shock jocks spend their entire career trying to think up some new hurtful or crass comment just to get someone's ire. Political candidates are no longer content to simply promote their own agenda, they have to trash talk everyone else's, and we do the same sort of thing every day. If we talk bad about someone else, either to their face or behind their back, we do it because it makes us feel better about ourselves. If we can convince others that everyone around you is a lazy good-for-nothing, it makes us look like a pretty good person in comparison. The amazing thing is that the most well respected people are not those that try to make others look bad so they can look better, but the ones who honestly work at being the best person they can be and don't worry about what everyone else thinks. All that to say, we have been blessed with a peculiar gift in the tongue, let's not abuse it. Let's use it for the purpose it was made to be used for, helping others. If you have been blessed with much, you now are responsible for much. The tongue and power of speech is a big blessing, when we're called to give an account for how we used it, will it be a good report or bad? Will it be seen that we used it for the edification of the saints, or the exalting of ourselves? Let's be really careful every time we open our mouths, so that when we do speak, it will only be with words of life.

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